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Biographic   Sketch 5 

Preface   47 

anarctlism  :  what  it  really  stands  for 53 

Minorities  versus  Majorities 75 

The  Psychology  of  Political  Violence 85 

Prisons:  a  social  crime  and  failure 115 

Patriotism  :  a  menace  to  liberty 133 

Francisco  Ferrer  and  The  Modern  School.  .   151 

The  Hypocrisy  of  Puritanism 173 

The  Traffic  in  Women 183 

Woman   Suffrage 201 

The  Tragedy  of  Woman's  Emancipation....  219 

Marriage  and  Love 233 

The    Drama:    a    powerful    disseminator    of 

radical  thought 247 


Propagandism  is  not,  as  some  suppose,  a  "trade," 
because  nobody  will  follow  a  "trade"  at  which  you 
may  work  with  the  industry  of  a  slave  and  die  with 
the  reputation^  of  a  mendicant.  The  motives  of  any 
persons  to  pursue  such  a  profession  must  be  differ- 
ent  from    those   of   trade,   deeper   than   pride,   and 

stronger  than  interest. 

George  Jacob  Holyoake. 

Among  the  men  and  women  prominent  in  the  public 
Hfe  of  America  there  are  but  few  whose  names  are 
mentioned  as  often  as  that  of  Emma  Goldman.  Yet 
the  real  Emma  Goldman  is  almost  quite  unknown. 
The  sensational  press  has  surrounded  her  name  with 
so  much  misrepresentation  and  slander,  it  would  seem 
almost  a  miracle  that,  in  spite  of  this  web  of  calumny, 
the  truth  breaks  through  and  a  better  appreciation  of 
this  much  maligned  idealist  begins  to  manifest  itself. 
There  is  but  little  consolation  in  the  fact  that  almost 
every  representative  of  a  new  idea  has  had  to  struggle 
and  suffer  under  similar  difficulties.  Is  it  of  any 
avail  that  a  former  president  of  a  republic  pays  homage 
at  Osawatomie  to  the  memory  of  John  Brown?  Or 
that  the  president  of  another  republic  participates  in 
the  unveiling  of  a  statue  in  honor  of  Pierre  Proudhon, 
and  holds  up  his  life  to  the  French  nation  as  a  model 


worthy  of  enthusiastic  emulation?  Of  what  avail  is 
all  this  when,  at  the  same  time,  the  living  John 
Browns  and  Proudhons  are  being  crucified?  The 
honor  and  glory  of  a  Mary  Wollstonecraft  or  of  a 
Louise  Michel  are  not  enhanced  by  the  City  Fathers 
of  London  or  Paris  naming  a  street  after  them — the 
living  generation  should  be  concerned  with  doing 
justice  to  the  living  Mary  Wollstonecrafts  and  Louise 
Michels.  Posterity  assigns  to  men  Uke  Wendel 
Phillips  and  Lloyd  Garrison  the  proper  niche  of  honor 
in  the  temple  of  human  emancipation;  but  it  is  the 
duty  of  their  contemporaries  to  bring  them  due  recog- 
nition and  appreciation  while  they  live. 

The  path  of  the  propagandist  of  social  justice  is 
strewn  with  thorns.  The  powers  of  darkness  and 
injustice  exert  all  their  might  lest  a  ray  of  sunshine 
enter  his  cheerless  life.  Nay,  even  his  comrades  in 
the  struggle — indeed,  too  often  his  most  intimate 
friends — show  but  little  understanding  for  the  per- 
sonality of  the  pioneer.  Envy,  sometimes  growing 
to  hatred,  vanity  and  jealousy,  obstruct  his  way  and 
fill  his  heart  with  sadness.  It  requires  an  inflexible 
will  and  tremendous  enthusiasm  not  to  lose,  under 
such  conditions,  all  faith  in  the  Cause.  The  repre- 
sentative of  a  revolutionizing  idea  stands  between 
two  fires :  on  the  one  hand,  the  persecution  of  the 
existing  powers  which  hold  him  responsible  for  all 
acts  resulting  from  social  conditions;  and,  on  the 
other,  the  lack  of  understanding  on  the  part  of  his 
own  followers  who  often  judge  all  his  activity  from 
a  narrow  standpoint.  Thus  it  happens  that  the  agitator 
stands  quite  alone  in  the  midst  of  the  multitude  sur- 


rounding  him.  Even  his  most  intimate  friends  rarely 
understand  how  solitary  and  deserted  he  feels.  That 
is  the  tragedy  of  the  person  prominent  in  the  public 

The  mist  in  which  the  name  of  Emma  Goldman 
has  so  long  been  enveloped  is  gradually  beginning  to 
dissipate.  Her  energy  in  the  furtherance  of  such  an 
unpopular  idea  as  Anarchism,  her  deep  earnestness, 
her  courage  and  abilities,  find  growing  understand- 
ing and  admiration. 

The  debt  American  intellectual  growth  owes  to  the 
revolutionary  exiles  has  never  been  fully  appreciated. 
The  seed  disseminated  by  them,  though  so  little  un- 
derstood at  the  time,  has  brought  a  rich  harvest. 
They  have  at  all  times  held  aloft  the  banner  of  lib- 
erty, thus  impregnating  the  social  vitality  of  the 
Nation.  But  very  few  have  succeeded  in  preserving 
their  European  education  and  culture  while  at  the 
same  time  assimilating  themselves  with  American 
life.  It  is  difficult  for  the  average  man  to  form  an 
adequate  conception  what  strength,  energy,  and  per- 
severance are  necessary  to  absorb  the  unfamiliar 
language,  habits,  and  customs  of  a  new  country, 
without  the  loss  of  one's  own  personality. 

Emma  Goldman  is  one  of  the  few  who,  while 
thoroughly  preserving  their  individuality,  have  be- 
come an  important  factor  in  the  social  and  intellectual 
atmosphere  of  America.  The  life  she  leads  is  rich  in 
color,  full  of  change  and  variety.  She  has  risen  to  the 
topmost  heights,  and  she  has  also  tasted  the  bitter 
dregs  of  life. 


Emma  Goldman  was  born  of  Jewish  parentage 
on  the  27th  day  of  June,  1869,  in  the  Russian  province 
of  Kovno.  Surely  these  parents  never  dreamed  what 
unique  position  their  child  would  some  day  occupy. 
Like  all  conservative  parents  they,  too,  were  quite 
convinced  that  their  daughter  would  marry  a  respect- 
able citizen,  bear  him  children,  and  round  out  her 
allotted  years  surrounded  by  a  flock  of  grandchildren, 
a  good,  religious  woman.  As  most  parents,  they  had 
no  inkling  what  a  strange,  impassioned  spirit  would 
take  hold  of  the  soul  of  their  child,  and  carry  it  to 
the  heights  which  separate  generations  in  eternal 
struggle.  They  lived  in  a  land  and  at  a  time  when 
antagonism  between  parent  and  offspring  was  fated  to 
find  its  most  acute  expression,  irreconcilable  hostility. 
In  this  tremendous  struggle  between  fathers  and  sons 
— and  especially  between  parents  and  daughters — there 
was  no  compromise,  no  weak  yielding,  no  truce. 
The  spirit  of  liberty,  of  progress — an  idealism  which 
knew  no  considerations  and  recognized  no  obstacles — 
drove  the  young  generation  out  of  the  parental  house 
and  away  from  the  hearth  of  the  home.  Just  as  this 
same  spirit  once  drove  out  the  revolutionary  breeder 
of  discontent,  Jesus,  and  alienated  him  from  his  native 

What  role  the  Jewish  race — notwithstanding  all 
anti-Semitic  calumnies  the  race  of  transcendental  ideal- 
ism— played  in  the  struggle  of  the  Old  and  the  New 
will  probably  never  be  appreciated  with  complete  im- 
partiality and  clarity.  Only  now  we  are  beginning 
to  perceive  the  tremendous  debt  we  owe  to  Jewish 
idealists  in  the  realm  of  science,  art,  and  literature. 


But  very  little  is  still  known  of  the  important  part 
the  sons  and  daughters  of  Israel  have  played  in  the 
revolutionary  movement  and,  especially,  in  that  of 
modern  times. 

The  first  years  of  her  childhood  Emma  Goldman 
passed  in  a  small,  idyllic  place  in  the  German-Russian 
province  of  Kurland,  where  her  father  had  charge  of 
the  government  stage.  At  that  time  Kurland  was 
thoroughly  German;  even  the  Russian  bureaucracy  of 
that  Baltic  province  was  recruited  mostly  from  Ger- 
man Junker.  German  fairy  tales  and  stories,  rich  in 
the  miraculous  deeds  of  the  heroic  knights  of  Kurland, 
wove  their  spell  over  the  youthful  mind.  But  the 
beautiful  idyl  was  of  short  duration.  Soon  the  soul 
of  the  growing  child  was  overcast  by  the  dark  shadows 
of  life.  Already  in  her  tenderest  youth  the  seeds  of 
rebellion  and  unrelenting  hatred  of  oppression  were 
to  be  planted  in  the  heart  of  Emma  Goldman.  Early 
she  learned  to  know  the  beauty  of  the  State :  she  saw 
her  father  harassed  by  the  Christian  chinovniks  and 
doubly  persecuted  as  petty  official  and  hated  Jew.  The 
brutality  of  forced  conscription  ever  stood  before  her 
eyes :  she  beheld  the  young  men,  often  the  sole  sup- 
port of  a  large  family,  brutally  dragged  to  the  bar- 
racks to  lead  the  miserable  life  of  a  soldier.  She 
heard  the  weeping  of  the  poor  peasant  women,  and 
witnessed  the  shameful  scenes  of  official  venality  which 
relieved  the  rich  from  military  service  at  the  expense 
of  the  poor.  She  was  outraged  by  the  terrible  treat- 
ment to  which  the  female  servants  were  subjected: 
maltreated  and  exploited  by  their  harinyas,  they  fell 
to  the  tender  mercies  of  the  regimental  officers,  who 


regarded  them  as  their  natural  sexual  prey.  These 
girls,  made  pregnant  by  respectable  gentlemen  and 
driven  out  by  their  mistresses,  often  found  refuge  in 
the  Goldman  home.  And  the  little  girl,  her  heart 
palpitating  with  sympathy,  would  abstract  coins  from 
the  parental  drawer  to  clandestinely  press  the  money 
into  the  hands  of  the  unfortunate  women.  Thus  Emma 
Goldman's  most  striking  characteristic,  her  sympathy 
with  the  underdog,  already  became  manifest  in  these 
early  years. 

At  the  age  of  seven  little  Emma  was  sent  by  her 
parents  to  her  grandmother  at  Konigsberg,  the  city  of 
Immanuel  Kant,  in  Eastern  Prussia.  Save  for  occa- 
sional interruptions,  she  remained  there  till  her  13th 
birthday.  The  first  years  in  these  surroundings  do  not 
exactly  belong  to  her  happiest  recollections.  The 
grandmother,  indeed,  was  very  amiable,  but  the  nu- 
merous aunts  of  the  household  were  concerned  more 
with  the  spirit  of  practical  rather  than  pure  reason, 
and  the  categoric  imperative  was  applied  all  too 
frequently.  The  -situation  was  changed  when  her 
parents  migrated  to  Konigsberg,  and  little  Emma  was 
relieved  from  her  role  of  Cinderella.  She  now  regu- 
larly attended  public  school  and  also  enjoyed  the 
advantages  of  private  instruction,  customary  in  middle- 
class  life;  French  and  music  lessons  played  an  im- 
portant part  in  the  curriculum.  The  future  inter- 
preter of  Ibsen  and  Shaw  was  then  a  little  German 
Gretchen,  quite  at  home  in  the  German  atmosphere. 
Her  special  predilections  in  literature  were  the  senti- 
mental romances  of  Marlitt ;  she  was  a  great  admirer 
of  the  good  Queen  Louise,  whom  the  bad  Napoleon 


Buonaparte  treated  with  so  marked  a  lack  of  knightly 
chivalry.  What  might  have  been  her  future  develop- 
ment had  she  remained  in  this  milieu  ?  Fate — or 
was  it  economic  necessity? — willed  it  otherwise.  Her 
parents  decided  to  settle  in  St.  Petersburg,  the  capital 
of  the  Almighty  Tsar,  and  there  to  embark  in  busi- 
ness. It  was  here  that  a  great  change  took  place 
in   the   life  of   the   young   dreamer. 

It  was  an  eventful  period — the  year  of  1882 — 
in  which  Emma  Goldman,  then  in  her  13th  year, 
arrived  in  St.  Petersburg.  A  struggle  for  life  and 
death  between  the  autocracy  and  the  Russian  in- 
tellectuals swept  the  country,  Alexander  II.  had 
fallen  the  previous  year.  Sophia  Perovskaia,  Zhe- 
liabov,  Grinevitzky,  Rissakov,  Kibalchitch,  Michailov, 
the  heroic  executors  of  the  death  sentence  upon  the 
tyrant,  had  then  entered  the  Walhalla  of  immortality. 
Jessie  Helfman,  the  only  regicide  whose  life  the 
government  had  reluctantly  spared  because  of  preg- 
nancy, followed  the  unnumbered  Russian  martyrs  to 
the  etapes  of  Siberia.  It  was  the  most  heroic  period 
in  the  great  battle  of  emancipation,  a  battle  for 
freedom  such  as  the  world  had  never  witnessed  be- 
fore. The  names  of  the  Nihilist  martyrs  were  on 
all  lips,  and  thousands  were  enthusiastic  to  follow 
their  example.  The  whole  intelligenzia  of  Russia 
was  filled  with  the  illegal  spirit :  revolutionary  senti- 
ments penetrated  into  every  home,  from  mansion  to 
hovel,  impregnating  the  military,  the  chinovniks ,  fac- 
tory workers,  and  peasants.  The  atmosphere  pierced 
the  very  casemates  of  the  royal  palace.  New  ideas 
germinated  in  the  youth.     The  difference  of  sex  was 


forgotten.  Shoulder  to  shoulder  fought  the  men  and 
the  women.  The  Russian  woman !  Who  shall  ever 
do  justice  or  adequately  portray  her  heroism  and 
self-sacrifice,  her  loyalty  and  devotion?  Holy,  Tur- 
genlev  calls  her  in  his  great  prose  poem,  On  the 

It  was  inevitable  that  the  young  dreamer  from 
Konigsberg  should  be  drawn  into  the  maelstrom. 
To  remain  outside  of  the  circle  of  free  ideas  meant 
a  life  of  vegetation,  of  death.  One  need  not  wonder 
at  the  youthful  age.  Young  enthusiasts  were  not 
then — and,  fortunately,  are  not  now — a  rare  phe- 
nomenon in  Russia.  The  study  of  the  Russian 
language  soon  brought  young  Emma  Goldman  in 
touch  with  revolutionary  students  and  new  ideas. 
The  place  of  Marlitt  was  taken  by  Nekrassov  and 
Tchernishevsky,  The  quondam  admirer  of  the  good 
Queen  Louise  became  a  glowing  enthusiast  of  liberty, 
resolving,  like  thousands  of  others,  to  devote  her  life 
to  the  emiancipation  of  the  people. 

The  struggle  of  generations  now  took  place  in 
the  Goldman  family.  The  parents  could  not  com- 
prehend what  interest  their  daughter  could  find  in 
the  new  ideas,  which  they  themselves  considered 
fantastic  Utopias.  They  strove  to  persuade  the  young 
girl  out  of  these  chimeras,  and  daily  repetition 
of  soul-racking  disputes  was  the  result.  Only  in 
one  member  of  the  family  did  the  young  idealist 
find  understanding — in  her  elder  sister,  Helene,  with 
whom  she  later  emigrated  to  America,  and  whose 
love  and  sympathy  have  never  failed  her.  Even  in 
the  darkest  hours  of  later  persecution  Emma  Gold- 


man  always  found  a  haven  of  refuge  in  the  home 
of  this  loyal  sister. 

Emma  Goldman  finally  resolved  to  achieve  her 
independence.  She  saw  hundreds  of  men  and  women 
sacrificing  brilliant  careers  to  go  v  narSd,  to  the 
people.  She  followed  their  example.  She  became  a 
factory  worker;  at  first  employed  as  a  corset  maker, 
and  later  in  the  manufacture  of  gloves.  She  was 
now  17  years  of  age  and  proud  to  earn  her  own 
living.  Had  she  remained  in  Russia,  she  would 
have  probably  sooner  or  later  shared  the  fate  of 
thousands  buried  in  the  snows  of  Siberia.  But  a 
new  chapter  of  life  was  to  begin  for  her.  Sister 
Helene  decided  to  emigrate  to  America,  where  an- 
other sister  had  already  made  her  home.  Emma 
prevailed  upon  Helene  to  be  allowed  to  join  her,  and 
together  they  departed  for  America,  filled  with  the 
joyous  hope  of  a  great,  free  land,  the  glorious 

America!  What  magic  word.  The  yearning  of 
the  enslaved,  the  promised  land  of  the  oppressed, 
the  goal  of  all  longing  for  progress.  Here  man's 
ideals  had  found  their  fulfillment:  no  Tsar,  no 
Co^ack,  no  cMnovnik.  The  Republic!  Glorious 
synonym  of  equality,  freedom,  brotherhood. 

Thus  thought  the  two  girls  as  they  travelled,  in 
the  year  1886,  from  New  York  to  Rochester.  Soon, 
all  too  soon,  disillusionment  awaited  them.  The  ideal 
conception  of  America  was  punctured  already  at 
Castle  Garden,  and  soon  burst  like  a  soap  bubble. 
Here    Emma    Goldman    witnessed    sights    which    re- 


minded  her  of  the  terrible  scenes  of  her  childhood 
in  Kurland.  The  brutality  and  humiHation  the 
future  citizens  of  the  great  Republic  were  subjected 
to  on  board  ship,  were  repeated  at  Castle  Garden 
by  the  officials  of  the  democracy  in  a  more  savage 
and  aggravating  manner.  And  what  bitter  disap- 
pointment followed  as  the  young  idealist  began  to 
familiarize  herself  with  the  conditions  in  the  new 
land !  Instead  of  one  Tsar,  she  found  scores  of 
them ;  the  Cossack  was  replaced  by  the  policeman 
with  the  heavy  club,  and  instead  of  the  Russian 
chinovnik  there  was  the  far  more  inhuman  slave- 
driver  of  the  factory. 

Emma  Goldman  soon  obtained  work  in  the  cloth- 
ing establishment  of  the  Garson  Co.  The  wages 
amounted  to  two  and  a  half  dollars  a  week.  At 
that  time  the  factories  were  not  provided  with  motor 
power,  and  the  poor  sewing  girls  had  to  drive  the 
wheels  by  foot,  from  early  morning  till  late  at 
night.  A  terribly  exhausting  toil  it  was,  without  a 
ray  of  light,  the  drudgery  of  the  long  day  passed 
in  complete  silence — the  Russian  custom  of  friendly 
conversation  at  work  was  not  permissible  in  the 
free  country.  But  the  exploitation  of  the  girls  was 
not  only  economic;  the  poor  wage  workers  were 
looked  upon  by  their  foremen  and  bosses  as  sexual 
commodities.  If  a  girl  resented  the  advances  of 
her  superiors,"  she  Vv'ould  speedily  find  herself  on 
the  street  as  an  undesirable  element  in  the  factory. 
There  w^as  never  a  lack  of  wilEng  victims :  the  supply 
always  exceeded  the  demand. 

The    horrible    conditions    were    made    still    more 


unbearable  by  the  fearful  dreariness  of  life  in  the 
small  American  city.  The  Puritan  spirit  suppresses 
the  slightest  manifestation  of  joy;  a  deadly  dullness 
beclouds  the  soul;  no  intellectual  inspiration,  no 
thought  exchange  between  congenial  spirits  is  pos- 
sible. Emma  Goldman  almost  suffocated  in  this  atmos- 
phere. She,  above  all  others,  longed  for  ideal 
surroundings,  for  friendship  and  understanding,  for 
the  companionship  of  kindred  minds.  Mentally  she 
still  lived  in  Russia.  Unfamiliar  with  the  language 
and  life  of  the  country,  she  dwelt  more  in  the 
past  than  in  the  present.  It  was  at  this  period  that 
she  met  a  young  man  who  spoke  Russian.  With 
great  joy  the  acquaintance  was  cultivated.  At  last 
a  person  with  whom  she  could  converse,  one  who 
could  help  her  bridge  the  dullness  of  the  narrow 
existence.  The  friendship  gradually  ripened  and 
finally  culminated  in  marriage. 

Emma  Goldman,  too,  had  to  walk  the  sorrowful 
road  of  married  life;  she,  too,  had  to  learn  from 
bitter  experience  that  legal  statutes  signify  depend- 
ence and  self-effacement,  especially  for  the  woman. 
The  marriage  was  no  liberation  from  the  Puritan 
dreariness  of  American  life;  indeed,  it  was  rather 
aggravated  by  the  loss  of  self-ownership.  The 
characters  of  the  young  people  differed  too  widely. 
A  separation  soon  followed,  and  Emma  Goldman 
went  to  New  Haven,  Conn.  There  she  found  em- 
ployment in  a  factory,  and  her  husband  disappeared 
from  her  horizon.  Two  decades  later  she  was  fated 
to  be  unexpectedly  reminded  of  him  by  the  Federal 


The  revolutionists  who  were  active  in  the  Russian 
movement  of  the  8o's  were  but  Httle  familiar  with 
the  social  ideas  then  agitating  western  Europe  and 
America.  Their  sole  activity  consisted  in  educating 
the  people,  their  final  goal  the  destruction  of  the 
autocracy.  Socialism  and  Anarchism  were  terms 
hardly  known  even  by  name.  Emma  Goldman,  too, 
was  entirely  unfamiliar  with  the  significance  of  those 

She  arrived  in  America,  as  four  years  previously 
in  Russia,  at  a  period  of  great  social  and  political 
unrest.  The  working  people  were  in  revolt  against 
the  terrible  labor  conditions ;  the  eight-hour  movement 
of  the  Knights  of  Labor  was  at  its  height,  and 
throughout  the  country  echoed  the  din  of  sanguine 
strife  between  strikers  and  police.  The  struggle 
culminated  in  the  great  strike  against  the  Harvester 
Company  of  Chicago,  the  massacre  of  the  strikers, 
and  the  judicial  murder  of  the  labor  leaders,  which 
followed  upon  the  historic  Haymarket  bomb  explo- 
sion. The  Anarchists  stood  the  martyr  test  of  blood 
baptism.  The  apologists  of  capitalism  vainly  seek 
to  justify  the  killing  oif  Parsons,  Spies,  Lingg, 
Fischer,  and  Engel.  Since  the  publication  of  Gov- 
ernor Altgeld's  reasons  for  his  liberation  of  the 
three  incarcerated  Haymarket  Anarchists,  no  doubt 
is  left  that  a  fivefold  legal  murder  had  been  com- 
mitted in  Chicago,  in   1887. 

Very  few  have  grasped  the  significance  of  the 
Chicago  martyrdom ;  least  of  all  the  ruling  classes. 
By  the  destruction  of  a  number  of  labor  leaders  they 
thought  to  stem  the  tide  of  a  world-inspiring  idea. 


They  failed  to  consider  that  from  the  blood  of  the 
martyrs  grows  the  new  seed,  and  that  the  frightful 
injustice  will  win  new  converts  to  the  Cause. 

The  two  most  prominent  representatives  of  the 
Anarchist  idea  in  America,  Voltairine  de  Cleyre  and 
Emma  Goldman — the  one  a  native  American,  the 
other  a  Russian — have  been  converted,  like  numerous 
others,  to  the  ideas  of  Anarchism  by  the  judicial 
murder.  Two  women  who  had  not  known  each 
other  before,  and  who  had  received  a  widely  different 
education,  were  through  that  murder  united  in  one 

Like  most  working  men  and  women  of  America, 
Emma  Goldman  followed  the  Chicago  trial  with 
great  anxiety  and  excitement.  She,  too,  could  not 
believe  that  the  leaders  of  the  proletariat  would 
be  killed.  The  nth  of  November,  1887,  taught  her 
differently.  She  realized  that  no  mercy  could  be 
expected  from  the  ruling  class,  that  between  the 
Tsarism  of  Russia  and  the  plutocracy  of  America 
there  was  no  difference  save  in  name.  Her  whole 
being  rebelled  against  the  crime,  and  she  vowed 
to  herself  a  solemn  vow  to  join  the  ranks  of  the 
revolutionary  proletariat  and  to  devote  all  her  energy 
and  strength  to  their  emancipation  from  wage  slavery. 
With  the  glowing  enthusiasm  so  characteristic  of  her 
nature,  she  now  began  to  familiarize  herself  with 
the  literature  of  Socialism  and  Anarchism.  She 
attended  public  meetings  and  became  acquainted  with 
socialistically  and  anarchistically  inclined  working- 
men.  Johanna  Greie,  the  well-known  German  lec- 
turer, was  the  first  Socialist  speaker  heard  by  Emma 


Goldman.  In  New  Haven,  Conn.,  where  she  was 
employed  in  a  corset  factory,  she  miet  Anarchists 
actively  participating  in  the  movement.  Here  she 
read  the  Freiheit,  edited  by  John  Most.  The  Hay- 
market  tragedy  developed  her  inherent  Anarchist 
tendencies;  the  reading  o£  the  Freiheit  made  her  a 
conscious  Anarchist.  Subsequently  she  was  to  learn 
that  the  idea  of  Anarchism  found  its  highest  ex- 
pression through  the  best  intellects  of  America :  the- 
oretically by  Josiah  Warren,  Stephen  Pearl  Andrews, 
Lysander  Spooner;  philosophically  by  Emerson, 
Thoreau,  and  Walt  Whitman. 

Made  ill  by  the  excessive  strain  of  factory  work, 
Emma  Goldman  returned  to  Rochester  where  she 
remained  till  August,  1889,  at  which  time  she  re- 
moved to  New  York,  the  scene  of  the  most  important 
phase  of  her  life.  She  was  now  twenty  years  old. 
Features  pallid  with  suffering,  eyes  large  and  full 
of  compassion,  greet  one  in  her  pictured  likeness 
of  those  days.  Her  hair  is,  as  customary  with 
Russian  student  girls,  worn  short,  giving  free  play  to 
the  strong  forehead. 

It  is  the  heroic  epoch  of  militant  Anarchism. 
By  leaps  and  bounds  the  movement  had  grown  in 
every  country.  In  spite  of  the  most  severe  govern- 
mental persecution  new  converts  swell  the  ranks. 
The  propaganda  is  almost  exclusively  of  a  secret 
character.  The  repressive  measures  of  the  govern- 
ment drive  the  disciples  of  the  new  philosophy  to 
conspirative  methods.  Thousands  of  victims  fall 
into   the   hands   of    the   authorities    and   languish    in 


prisons.  But  nothing-  can  stem  the  rising  tide  of 
enthusiasm,  of  self-sacrifice  and  devotion  to  the 
Cause.  The  efforts  of  teachers  Hke  Peter  Kropotkin, 
Louise  Michel,  Elisee  Reclus,  and  others,  inspire  the 
devotees  with  ever  greater  energy. 

Disruption  is  imminent  with  the  Socialists,  who 
have  sacrificed  the  idea  of  liberty  and  embraced  the 
State  and  politics.  The  struggle  is  bitter,  the 
factions  irreconcilable.  This  struggle  is  not  merely 
between  Anarchists  and  Socialists ;  it  also  finds  its 
echo  within  the  Anarchist  groups.  Theoretic  dif- 
ferences and  personal  controversies  lead  to  strife  and 
acrimonious  enmities.  The  anti-Socialist  legislation 
of  Germany  and  Austria  had  driven  thousands  of 
Socialists  and  Anarchists  across  the  seas  to  seek 
refuge  in  America.  John  Most,  having  lost  his 
seat  in  the  Reichstag,  finally  had  to  flee  his  native 
land,  and  went  to  London.  There,  having  advanced 
toward  Anarchism,  he  entirely  withdrew  from  the 
Social  Democratic  Party.  Later,  coming  to  America, 
he  continued  the  publication  of  the  Freiheit  in  New 
York,  and  developed  great  activity  among  the  Ger- 
man workingmen. 

When  Emma  Goldman  arrived  in  New  York  in 
1889,  she  experienced  little  difficulty  in  associating 
herself  with  active  Anarchists.  Anarchist  meetings 
were  an  almost  daily  occurrence.  The  first  lecturer 
she  heard  on  the  Anarchist  platform  was  Dr.  H. 
Solotaroff.  Of  great  importance  to  her  future 
development  was  her  acquaintance  with  John  Most, 
who  exerted  a  tremendous  influence  over  the  younger 
elements.    His  impassioned  eloquence,  untiring  energy, 


and  the  persecution  he  had  endured  for  the  Cause, 
all  combined  to  enthuse  the  comrades.  It  was  also 
at  this  period  that  she  met  Alexander  Berkman, 
whose  friendship  played  an  important  part  through- 
out her  life.  Her  talents  as  a  speaker  could  not 
long  remain  in  obscurity.  The  fire  of  enthusiasm 
swept  her  toward  the  public  platform.  Encouraged 
by  her  friends,  she  began  to  participate  as  a  German 
and  Yiddish  speaker  at  Anarchist  meetings.  Soon 
followed  a  brief  tour  of  agitation  taking  her  as 
far  as  Cleveland.  With  the  whole  strength  and 
earnestness  of  her  soul  she  now  threw  herself  into 
the  propaganda  of  Anarchist  ideas.  The  passionate 
period  of  her  life  had  begun.  Though  constantly  toil- 
ing in  sweat-shops,  the  fiery  young  orator  was  at  the 
same  time  very  active  as  an  agitator  and  participated 
in  various  labor  struggles,  notably  in  the  great  cloak- 
makers'  strike,  in  1889,  led  by  Professor  Garsyde 
and  Joseph  Barondess. 

A  year  later  Emma  Goldman  was  a  delegate  to 
an  Anarchist  conference  in  New  York.  She  was 
elected  to  the  Executive  Committee,  but  later  with- 
drew because  of  differences  of  opinion  regarding 
tactical  matters.  The  ideas  of  the  German-speaking 
Anarchists  had  at  that  time  not  yet  become  clarified. 
Some  still  believed  in  parliamentary  methods,  the  great 
majority  being  adherents  of  strong  centralism.  These 
differences  of  opinion  in  regard  to  tactics  led,  in  1891, 
to  a  breach  with  John  Most.  Emma  Goldman, 
Alexander  Berkman,  and  other  comrades  joined  the 
group  Autonomy,  in  which  Joseph  Peukert,  Otto 
Rinke,  and  Claus  Timmermann  played  an  active  part. 


The  bitter  controversies  which  followed  this  secession 
terminated  only  with  the  death  of  Most,  in  1906. 

A  great  source  of  inspiration  to  Emma  Goldman 
proved  the  Russian  revolutionists  who  were  asso- 
ciated in  the  group  Znamya.  Goldenberg,  Solo- 
taroff,  Zametkin,  Miller,  Cahan,  the  poet  Edelstadt, 
Ivan  von  Schewitsch,  husband  of  Helene  von  Raco- 
witza  and  editor  of  the  Volkszeitung,  and  numerous 
other  Russian  exiles,  some  of  whom  are  still  living, 
were  members  of  the  group.  It  was  also  at  this  time 
that  Emma  Goldman  met  Robert  Reitzel,  the  German- 
American  Heine,  who  exerted  a  great  influence  on 
her  development.  Through  him  she  became  ac- 
quainted with  the  best  writers  of  modern  literature, 
and  the  friendship  thus  begun  lasted  till  Reitzel's 
death,  in  1898. 

The  labor  movement  of  America  had  not  been 
drowned  in  the  Chicago  massacre;  the  murder  of 
the  Anarchists  had  failed  to  bring  peace  to  the 
profit-greedy  capitalist.  The  struggle  for  the  eight- 
hour  day  continued.  In  1892  broke  out  the  great 
strike  in  Pittsburg.  The  Homestead  fight,  the  defeat 
of  the  Pinkertons,  the  appearance  of  the  militia, 
the  suppression  of  the  strikers,  and  the  complete 
triumph  of  the  reaction  are  matters  of  comparatively 
recent  history.  Stirred  to  the  very  depths  by  the 
terrible  events  at  the  seat  of  war,  Alexander  Berk- 
man  resolved  to  sacrifice  his  life  to  the  Cause  and 
thus  give  an  object  lesson  to  the  wage  slaves  of 
America  of  active  Anarchkt  solidarity  wdth  labor. 
His    attack    upon    Prick,    the    Gessler    of    Pittsburg, 


failed,  and  the  twenty-two-year-old  youth  was  doomed 
to  a  living  death  of  twenty-two  years  in  the  peni- 
tentiary. The  bourgeoisie,  which  for  decades  had 
exalted  and  eulogized  tyrannicide,  now  was  filled 
with  terrible  rage.  The  capitalist  press  organized  a 
systematic  campaign  of  calumny  and  misrepresenta- 
tion against  Anarchists.  The  police  exerted  every 
effort  to  involve  Emma  Goldman  in  the  act  of 
Alexander  Berkman.  The  feared  agitator  was  to 
be  silenced  by  all  means.  It  was  only  due  to  the 
circumstance  of  her  presence  in  New  York  that  she 
escaped  the  clutches  of  the  law.  It  was  a  similar 
circumstance  which,  nine  years  later,  during  the 
McKinley  incident,  was  instrumental  in  preserving  her 
liberty.  It  is  almost  incredible  with  what  amount 
of  stupidity,  baseness,  and  vileness  the  journalists 
of  the  period  sought  to  overwhelm  the  Anarchist. 
One  must  peruse  the  newspaper  files  to  realize  the 
enormity  of  incrimination  and  slander.  It  would  be 
difficult  to  portray  the  agony  of  soul  Emma  Gold- 
man experienced  in  those  days.  The  persecutions  of 
the  capitalist  press  were  to  be  borne  by  an  Anarchist 
with  comparative  equanimity;  but  the  attacks  from 
one's  own  ranks  were  far  more  painful  and  unbear- 
able. The  act  of  Berkman  was  severely  criticized 
by  Most  and  some  of  his  followers  among  the 
German  and  Jewish  Anarchists.  Bitter  accusations 
and  recriminations  at  public  meetings  and  private 
gatherings  followed.  Persecuted  on  all  sides,  both 
because  she  championed  Berkman  and  his  act,  and 
on  account  of  her  revolutionary  activity,  Emma 
Goldman   was   harassed   even    to    the   extent    of    in- 


ability  to  secure  shelter.  Too  proud  to  seek  safety 
in  the  denial  of  her  identity,  she  chose  to  pass  the 
nights  in  the  public  parks  rather  than  expose  her 
friends  to  danger  or  vexation  by  her  visits.  The 
already  bitter  cup  was  filled  to  overflowing  by  the 
attempted  suicide  of  a  young  comrade  who  had 
shared  living  quarters  with  Emma  Goldman,  Alex- 
ander Berkman,  and  a  mutual  artist  friend. 

Many  changes  have  since  taken  place.  Alexander 
Berkman  has  survived  the  Penns>lvania  Inferno,  and 
is  back  again  in  the  ranks  of  the  militant  Anarchists, 
his  spirit  unbroken,  his  soul  full  of  enthusiasm  for 
the  ideals  of  his  youth.  The  artist  comrade  is  now 
among  the  well-known  illustrators  of  New  York, 
The  suicide  candidate  left  America  shortly  after  his 
unfortunate  attempt  to  die,  and  was  subsequently 
arrested  and  condemned  to  eight  years  of  hard  labor 
for  smuggling  Anarchist  literature  into  Germany. 
He,  too,  has  withstood  the  terrors  of  prison  life, 
and  has  returned  to  the  revolutionary  movement, 
since  earning  the  well  deserved  reputation  of  a  tal- 
ented writer  in  Germany. 

To  avoid  indefinite  camping  in  the  parks  Emma 
Goldman  finally  w^as  forced  to  move  into  a  house 
on  Third  Street,  occupied  exclusively  by  prostitutes. 
There,  among  the  outcasts  of  our  good  Christian  soci- 
ety, she  could  at  least  rent  a  bit  of  a  room,  and 
find  re-st  and  work  at  her  sewing  machine.  The 
women  of  the  street  showed  more  refinement  of 
feeling  and  sincere  sympathy  than  the  pnests  of  the 
Church,     But  human  endurance  had  been  exhausted 


b}'  overmuch  suffering  and  privation.  There  was 
a  complete  physical  breakdown,  and  the  renowned 
agitator  was  removed  to  the  "Bohemian  Republic" — 
a  large  tenement  house  which  derived  its  euphonious 
appellation  from  the  fact  that  its  occupants  were 
mostly  Bohemian  Anarchists,  Here  Emma  Goldman 
found  friends  ready  to  aid  her.  Justus  Schwab, 
one  of  the  finest  representatives  of  the  German 
revolutionary  period  of  that  time,  and  Dr.  Solotaroff 
were  indefatigable  in  the  care  of  the  patient.  Here, 
too,  she  met  Edward  Brady,  the  new  friendship 
subsequently  ripening  into  close  intimacy.  Brady  had 
been  an  active  participant  in  the  revolutionary  move- 
ment of  Austria  and  had,  at  the  time  of  his  ac- 
quaintance with  Emma  Goldman,  lately  been  released 
from  an  Austrian  prison  after  an  incarceration  of 
ten  years. 

Physicians  diagnosed  the  illness  as  consumption, 
and  the  patient  was  advised  to  leave  New  York. 
She  went  to  Rochester,  in  the  hope  that  the  home 
circle  would  help  to  restore  her  to  health.  Her 
parents  had  several  years  previously  emigrated  to 
America,  settling  in  that  city.  Among  the  leading 
traits  of  the  Jewish  race  is  the  strong  attachment 
between  the  members  of  the  family,  and,  especially, 
between  parents  and  children.  Though  her  con- 
servative parents  could  not  sympathize  with  the 
idealist  aspirations  of  Emma  Goldman  and  did  not 
approve  of  her  mode  of  life,  they  now  received 
their  sick  daughter  with  open  arms.  The  rest  and 
care  enjoyed  in  the  parental  home,  and  the  cheering 
presence   of    the    beloved    sister    Helene,    proved    so 


beneficial  that  within  a  short  time  she  was  sufficiently 
restored  to  resume  her  energetic  activity. 

There  is  no  rest  in  the  life  of  Emma  Goldman. 
Ceaseless  effort  and  continuous  striving  toward  the 
conceived  goal  are  the  essentials  of  her  nature.  Too 
much  precious  time  had  already  been  wasted.  It 
was  imperative  to  resume  her  labors  immediately.  The 
country  was  in  the  throes  of  a  crisis,  and  thousands 
of  unemployed  crowded  the  streets  of  the  large  in- 
dustrial centers.  Cold  and  hungry  they  tramped 
through  the  land  in  the  vain  search  for  work  and 
bread.  The  Anarchists  developed  a  strenuous  propa- 
ganda among  the  unemployed  and  the  strikers.  A 
monster  demonstration  of  striking  cloakmakers  and 
of  the  unemployed  took  place  at  Union  Square, 
New  York.  Emma  Goldman  was  one  of  the  in- 
vited speakers.  She  delivered  an  impassioned  speech, 
picturing  in  fiery  words  the  misery  of  the  wage- 
slave's  life,  and  quoted  the  famous  maxim  of  Car- 
dinal Manning:  "Necessity  knows  no  law,  and  the 
starving  man  has  a  natural  right  to  a  share  of  his 
neighbor's  bread."  She  concluded  her  exhortation 
with  the  words :  "Ask  for  work.  If  they  do  not  give 
you  work,  ask  for  bread.  If  they  do  not  give  you 
work  or  bread,  then  take  bread." 

The  following  day  she  left  for  Philadelphia,  where 
she  was  to  address  a  public  meeting.  The  capitalist 
press  again  raised  the  alarm.  If  Socialists  and 
Anarchists  were  to  be  permitted  to  continue  agitating, 
there  was  imminent  danger  that  the  workingmen 
would  soon  learn  to  understand  the  manner  in  which 
they  are   robbed  of  the  joy   and   happiness  of   life. 


Such  a  possibility  was  to  be  prevented  at  all  cost. 
The  Chief  of  Police  of  New  York,  Byrnes,  procured 
a  court  order  for  the  arrest  of  Emma  Goldman. 
She  was  detained  by  the  Philadelphia  authorities  and 
incarcerated  for  several  days  in  the  Lloyamensing 
prison,  awaiting  the  extradition  papers  which  Byrnes 
intrusted  to  Detective  Jacobs.  This  man  Jacobs 
(whom  Emma  Goldman  again  met  several  years  later 
under  very  unpleasant  circumstances)  proposed  to  her, 
while  she  was  returning  a  prisoner  to  New  York,  to 
betray  the  cause  of  labor.  In  the  name  of  his  superior. 
Chief  Byrnes,  he  offered  lucrative  reward.  How 
stupid  men  sometimes  are !  What  poverty  of  psycho- 
logic observation  to  imagine  the  possibility  of  betrayal 
on  the  part  of  a  young  Russian  idealist,  who  had  will- 
ingly sacrificed  all  personal  considerations  to  help  in 
labor's  emancipation. 

In  October,  1893,  Emma  Goldman  was  tried  in 
the  criminal  courts  of  New  York  on  the  charge  of 
inciting  to  riot.  The  "intelligent"  jury  ignored  the 
testimony  of  the  twelve  witnesses  for  the  defense 
in  favor  of  the  evidence  given  by  one  single  man — 
Detective  Jacobs.  She  was  found  guilty  and  sentenced 
to  serve  one  year  in  the  penitentiary  at  Blackwell's 
Island.  Since  the  foundation  of  the  Republic  she  was 
the  first  woman — Mrs,  Surratt  excepted — to  be  im- 
prisoned for  a  political  offense.  Respectable  society 
had  long  before  stamped  upon  her  the  Scarlet  Letter. 

Emma  Goldman  passed  her  time  in  the  peni- 
tentiary in  the  capacity  of  nurse  in  the  prison  hospital. 
Here  she  found  opportunity  to  shed  some  rays 
pf  kindness  into  the  dark  lives  of  the  unfortunates 


whose  sisters  of  the  street  did  not  disdain  two 
years  previously  to  share  with  her  the  same  house. 
She  also  found  in  prison  opportunity  to  study 
English  and  its  literature,  and  to  familiarize  her- 
self with  the  great  American  writers.  In  Bret 
Harte,  Mark  Twain,  Walt  Whitman,  Thoreau,  and 
Emerson  she  found  great  treasures. 

She  left  Blackwell's  Island  in  the  month  of 
August,  1894,  a  woman  of  twenty-five,  developed  and 
matured,  and  intellectually  transformed.  Back  into 
the  arena,  richer  in  experience,  purified  by  suffering. 
She  did  not  feel  herself  deserted  and  alone  any 
more.  Many  hands  were  stretched  out  to  welcome 
her.  There  were  at  the  time  numerous  intellectual 
oases  in  New  York.  The  saloon  of  Justus  Schwab, 
at  Number  Fifty,  First  Street,  was  the  center 
where  gathered  Anarchists,  litterateurs,  and  bohemians. 
Among  others  she  also  met  at  this  time  a  number 
of  American  Anarchists,  and  formed  the  friendship 
of  Voltairine  de  Cleyre,  Wm.  C.  Owen,  Miss  Van 
Etton,  and  Dyer  D.  Lum,  former  editor  of  the 
Alarm  and  executor  of  the  last  wishes  of  the 
Chicago  martyrs.  In  John  Swinton,  the  noble  old 
fighter  for  liberty,  she  found  one  of  her  staunch- 
est  friends.  Other  intellectual  centers  there  were : 
Solidarity,  published  by  John  Edelman;  Liberty,  by 
the  Individualist  Anarchist  Benjamin  R.  Tucker; 
the  Rebel,  by  Harry  Kelly;  Der  Sturmvogel,  a  Ger- 
man Anarchist  publication,  edited  by  Claus  Timmer- 
mann ;  Der  Arme  Teufel,  whose  presiding  genius 
was  the  inimitable  Robert  Reitzel.  Through  Arthur 
Brisbane,  now  chief  lieutenant  of  William  Randolph 


Hearst,  she  became  acquainted  with  the  writings  of 
Fourier.  Brisbane  then  was  not  yet  submerged  in 
the  swamp  of  pohtical  corruption.  He  sent  Emma 
Goldman  an  amiable  letter  to  Blackwell's  Island, 
together  with  the  biography  of  his  father,  the  en- 
thusiastic American  disciple  of  Fourier, 

Emma  Goldman  became,  upon  her  release  from 
the  penitentiary,  a  factor  in  the  public  life  of  New 
York.  She  was  appreciated  in  radical  ranks  for 
her  devotion,  her  idealism,  and  earnestness.  Various 
persons  sought  her  friendship,  and  some  tried  to 
persuade  her  to  aid  in  the  furtherance  of  their 
special  side  issues.  Thus  Rev.  Parkhurst,  during 
the  Lexow  investigation,  did  his  utmost  to  induce 
her  to  join  the  Vigilance  Comrriittee  in  order  to 
fight  Tammany  Hall.  Maria  Louise,  the  moving 
spirit  of  a  social  center,  acted  as  Parkhurst's  go- 
between.  It  is  hardly  necessary  to  mention  what 
reply  the  latter  received  from  Emma  Goldman. 
Incidentally,  ]\Iaria  Louise  subsequently  became  a 
Mahatma.  During  the  free-silver  campaign,  ex- 
Burgess  McLuckie,  one  of  the  most  genuine  per- 
sonalities in  the  Homestead  strike,  visited  New 
York  in  an  endeavor  to  enthuse  the  local  radicals 
for  free  silver.  He  also  attempted  to  interest  Emma 
Goldman,  but  with  no  greater  success  than  Mahatma 
Maria  Louise  of  Parkhurst-Lexow  fame. 

In  1894  the  struggle  of  the  Anarchists  in  France 
reached  its  highest  expression.  The  white  terror 
on  the  part  of  the  Republican  upstarts  was  an- 
swered by  the   red  terror  of  our  French   comrades. 


With  feverish  anxiety  the  Anarchists  throughout  the 
world  followed  this  social  struggle.  Propaganda  by 
deed  found  its  reverberating  echo  in  almost  all  coun- 
tries. In  order  to  better  familiarize  herself  with 
conditions  in  the  old  world,  Emma  Goldman  left 
for  Europe,  in  the  year  1895.  After  a  lecture  tour 
in  England  and  Scotland,  she  went  to  Vienna  where 
she  entered  the  Allgemeine  Krankenhaus  to  prepare 
herself  as  midwife  and  nurse,  and  where  at  the  same 
time  she  studied  social  conditions.  She  also  found 
opportunity  to  acquaint  herself  with  the  newest  liter- 
ature of  Europe :  Hauptmann,  Nietzsche,  Ibsen,  Zola, 
Thomas  Hardy,  and  other  artist  rebels  were  read 
with  great  enthusiasm. 

In  the  autumn  of  1896  she  returned  to  New  York 
by  way  of  Zurich  and  Paris.  The  project  of 
Alexander  Berkman's  liberation  was  on  hand.  The 
barbaric  sentence  of  twenty-two  years  had  roused 
tremendous  indignation  among  the  radical  elements. 
It  was  known  that  the  Pardon  Board  of  Pennsyl- 
vania would  look  to  Carnegie  and  Frick  for  advice 
in  the  case  of  Alexander  Berkman.  It  was  therefore 
suggested  that  these  Sultans  of  Pennsylvania  be 
approached — not  with  a  view  of  obtaining  their 
grace,  but  with  the  request  that  they  do  not  attempt 
to  influence  the  Board,  Ernest  Crosby  offered  to 
see  Carnegie,  on  condition  that  Alexander  Berkman 
repudiate  his  act.  That,  however,  was  absolutely 
out  of  the  question.  He  would  never  be  guilty  of 
such  forswearing  of  his  own  personality  and  self- 
respect.  These  efforts  led  to  friendly  relations  be- 
tween   Emma    Goldman    and    the    circle    of    Ernest 


Crosby,  Bolton  Hall,  and  Leonard  Abbott.  In  the 
year  1897  she  undertook  her  first  great  lecture  tour, 
which  extended  as  far  as  California.  This  tour 
popularized  her  name  as  the  representative  of  the 
oppressed,  her  eloquence  ringing  from  coast  to  coast. 
In  California  Emma  Goldman  became  friendly  with 
the  members  of  the  Isaak  family,  and  learned  to 
appreciate  their  efforts  for  the  Cause.  Under  tre- 
mendous obstacles  the  Isaaks  first  published  the 
Firebrand  and,  upon  its  suppression  by  the  Postal 
Department,  the  Free  Society.  It  was  also  during 
this  tour  that  Emma  Goldman  met  that  grand  old 
rebel  of  sexual  freedom,  Moses  Harman. 

During  the  Spanish-American  war  the  spirit  of 
chauvinism  was  at  its  highest  tide.  To  check  this 
dangerous  situation,  and  at  the  same  time  collect 
funds  for  the  revolutionary  Cubans,  Emma  Goldman 
became  affiliated  with  the  Latin  comrades,  among 
others  with  Gori,  Esteve,  Palaviccini,  Merlino,  Pet- 
ruccini,  and  Ferrara.  In  the  year  1899  followed  an- 
other protracted  tour  of  agitation,  terminating  on 
the  Pacific  Coast.  Repeated  arrests  and  accusations, 
though  without  ultimate  bad  results,  marked  every 
propaganda  tour. 

In  November  of  the  same  year  the  untiring 
agitator  went  on  a  second  lecture  tour  to  England 
and  Scotland,  closing  her  journey  with  the  first 
International  Anarchist  Congress  at  Paris.  It  was 
at  the  time  of  the  Boer  war,  and  again  jingoism 
was  at  its  height,  as  two  years  previously  it  had 
celebrated  its  orgies  during  the  Spanish-American 
war.     Various  meetings,  both  in  England  and   Scot- 



land,  were  disturbed  and  broken  up  by  patriotic 
mobs.  Emma  Goldman  found  on  this  occasion  the 
opportunity  of  again  meeting  various  English  com- 
rades and  interesting  personalities  like  Tom  Mann 
and  the  sisters  Rossetti,  the  gifted  daughters  of 
Dante  Gabriel  Rossetti,  then  pv.blishers  of  the  An- 
archist review,  the  Torch.  One  of  her  life-long 
hopes  found  here  its  fulfillment :  she  came  in  close 
and  friendly  touch  with  Peter  Kropotkin,  Enrico 
Malatesta,  Nicholas  Tchaikovsky,  W.  Tcherkessov, 
and  Louise  Michel.  Old  warriors  in  the  cause  of 
humanity,  whose  deeds  have  enthused  thousands  of 
followers  throughout  the  world,  and  whose  life  and 
work  have  inspired  other  thousands  with  noble  ideal- 
ism and  self-sacrifice.  Old  warriors  they,  yet  ever 
young  with  the  courage  of  earlier  days,  unbroken 
in  spirit  and  filled  with  the  firm  hope  of  the  final 
triumph  of  Anarchy. 

The  chasm  in  the  revolutionary  labor  movement, 
which  resulted  from  the  disruption  of  the  Inter- 
nationale, could  not  be  bridged  any  more.  Two 
social  philosophies  were  engaged  in  bitter  combat. 
The  International  Congress  in  1889,  at  Paris ;  in 
1892,  at  Zurich,  and  in  1896,  at  London,  produced 
irreconcilable  differences.  The  majority  of  Social 
Democrats,  forswearing  their  libertarian  past  and 
becoming  politicians,  succeeded  in  excluding  the  revo- 
lutionary and  Anarchist  delegates.  The  latter  decided 
thenceforth  to  hold  separate  congresses.  Their  first 
congress  was  to  take  place  in  1900,  at  Paris.  The 
Socialist  renegade  Millerand,  who  had  climbed  into 
the   Ministry   of   the    Interior,   here   played   a   Judas 


role.  The  congress  of  the  revolutionists  was  sup- 
pressed, and  the  delegates  dispersed  two  days  prior 
to  the  scheduled  opening.  But  Millerand  had  no 
objections  against  the  Social  Democratic  Congress, 
which  was  afterwards  opened  with  all  the  trumpets 
of  the  advertiser's  art. 

However,  the  renegade  did  not  accomplish  iiis 
object.  A  number  of  delegates  succeeded  in  holding 
a  secret  conference  in  the  house  of  a  comrade  out- 
side of  Paris,  where  various  points  of  theory  and 
tactics  were  discussed.  Emma  Goldman  took  con- 
siderable part  in  these  proceedings,  and  on  that 
occasion  came  in  contact  with  numerous  representa- 
tives of  the  Anarchist  movement  of  Europe, 

Owing  to  the  suppression  of  the  congress,  the 
delegates  were  in  danger  of  being  expelled  from 
France.  At  this  time  also  came  the  bad  news  from 
America  regarding  another  unsuccessful  attempt  to 
liberate  Alexander  Berkman,  proving  a  great  shock  to 
Emma  Goldman.  In  November,  1900,  she  returned  to 
America  to  devote  herself  to  her  profession  of  nurse,  at 
the  same  time  taking  an  active  part  in  the  American 
propaganda.  Among  other  activities  she  organized 
monster  meetings  of  protest  against  the  terrible  out- 
rages of  the  Spanish  government,  perpetrated  upon 
the  political  prisoners  tortured  in  Montjuich. 

In  her  vocation  as  nurse  Emma  Goldman  enjoyed 
many  opportunities  of  meeting  the  most  unusual  and 
peculiar  characters.  Few  would  have  identified  the 
"notorious  Anarchist"  in  the  small  blonde  woman, 
simply  attired  in  the  uniform  of  a  nurse.  Soon  after 
her  return  from  Europe  she  became  acquainted  with 


a  patient  by  the  name  of  Mrs.  Stander,  a  morphine 
fiend,  suffering  excruciating  agonies.  She  required 
careful  attention  to  enable  her  to  supervise  a  very  im- 
portant business  she  conducted, — that  of  Mrs.  Warren. 
In  Third  Street,  near  Third  Avenue,  was  situated  her 
private  residence,  and  near  it,  connected  by  a  separate 
entrance,  was  her  place  of  business.  One  evening, 
the  nurse,  upon  entering  the  room  of  her  patient,  sud- 
denly came  face  to  face  with  a  male  visitor,  bull- 
necked  and  of  brutal  appearance.  The  man  was  no 
other  than  Mr.  Jacobs,  the  detective  who  seven  years 
previously  had  brought  Emma  Goldman  a  prisoner 
from  Philadelphia  and  who  had  attempted  to  per- 
suade her,  on  their  way  to  New  York,  to  betray  the 
cause  of  the  workingmen.  It  would  be  difficult  to 
describe  the  expression  of  bewilderment  on  the  coun- 
tenance of  the  man  as  he  so  unexpectedly  faced 
Emma  Goldman,  the  nurse  of  his  mistress.  The 
brute  was  suddenly  transformed  into  a  gentleman, 
exerting  himself  to  excuse  his  shameful  behavior  on 
the  previous  occasion.  Jacobs  was  the  "protector"  of 
Mrs.  Stander,  and  go-between  for  the  house  and  the 
police.  Several  years  later,  as  one  of  the  detective 
staff  of  District  Attorney  Jerome,  he  committed  per- 
jury, was  convicted,  and  sent  to  Sing  Sing  for  a  year. 
He  is  now  probably  employed  by  some  private  detec- 
tive agency,  a  desirable  pillar  of  respectable  society. 

In  1901  Peter  Kropotkin  was  invited  by  the  Lowel' 
Institute  of  Massachusetts  to  deliver  a  series  of  lec- 
tures on  Russian  literature.  It  was  his  second  Amer- 
ican tour,  and  naturally  the  comrades  were  anxious  to 
use   his   presence   for   the  benefit   of  the   movement. 


Emma  Goldman  entered  into  correspondence  with 
Kropotkin  and  succeeded  in  securing  his  consent  to 
arrange  for  him  a  series  of  lectures.  She  also  de- 
voted her  energies  to  organizing  the  tours  of  other 
well  known  Anarchists,  principally  those  of  Charles 
W.  Mowbray  and  John  Turner.  Similarly  she  always 
took  part  in  all  the  activities  of  the  movement,  ever 
ready  to  give  her  time,  ability,  and  energy  to  the 

On  the  sixth  of  September,  1901,  President  Mc- 
Kinley  was  shot  by  Leon  Czolgosz  at  Buffalo.  Im- 
mediately an  unprecedented  campaign  of  persecution 
was  set  in  motion  against  Emma  Goldman  as  the  best 
known  Anarchist  in  the  country.  Although  there  was 
absolutely  no  foundation  for  the  accusation,  she, 
together  with  other  prominent  Anarchists,  was  ar- 
rested in  Chicago,  kept  in  confinement  for  sev- 
eral weeks,  and  subjected  to  severest  cross-examina- 
tion. Never  before  in  the  history  of  the  country  had 
such  a  terrible  man-hunt  taken  place  against  a  per- 
son in  public  life.  But  the  efforts  of  police  and  press 
to  connect  Emma  Goldman  with  Czolgosz  proved 
futile.  Yet  the  episode  left  her  wounded  to  the  heart. 
The  physical  suffering,  the  humiliation  and  bru- 
tality at  the  hands  of  the  police  she  could  bear. 
The  depression  of  soul  was  far  worse.  She  was  over- 
whelmed by  the  realization  of  the  stupidity,  lack  of 
understanding,  and  vileness  which  characterized  the 
events  of  those  terrible  days.  The  attitude  of  mis- 
understanding on  the  part  of  the  majority  of  her 
own  comrades  toward  Czolgosz  almost  drove  her  to 
desperation.    Stirred  to  the  very  inmost  of  her  soul, 


she  published  an  article  on  Czolgosz  in  which  she 
tried  to  explain  the  deed  in  its  social  and  individual 
aspects.  As  once  before,  after  Berkman's  act,  she 
now  also  was  unable  to  find  quarters ;  like  a  verita- 
ble wild  animal  she  was  driven  from  place  to  place. 
This  terrible  persecution  and,  especially,  the  atti- 
tude of  her  comrades  made  it  impossible  for  her  to 
continue  propaganda.  The  soreness  of  body  and 
soul  had  first  to  heal.  During  1901-1903  she  did 
not  resume  the  platform.  As  "Miss  Smith"  she  lived 
a  quiet  life,  practicing  her  profession  and  devoting 
her  leisure  to  the  study  of  literature  and,  particularly, 
to  the  modern  drama,  which  she  considers  one  of 
the  greatest  disseminators  of  radical  ideas  and  en- 
lightened feeling. 

Yet  one  thing  the  persecution  of  Emma  Gold- 
man accomplished.  Her  name  was  brought  before 
the  public  with  greater  frequency  and  emphasis 
than  ever  before,  the  malicious  harassing  of  the 
much  maligned  agitator  arousing  strong  sympathy 
in  many  circles.  Persons  in  various  walks  of  life 
began  to  get  interested  in  her  struggle  and  her  ideas. 
A  better  understanding  and  appreciation  were  now 
beginning  to  manifest  themselves. 

The  arrival  in  America  of  the  English  Anarchist, 
John  Turner,  induced  Emma  Goldman  to  leave  her 
retirement.  Again  she  threw  herself  into  her  public 
activities,  organizing  an  energetic  movement  for  the 
defense  of  Turner,  whom  the  Immigration  authori- 
ties condemned  to  deportation  on  account  of  the 
Anarchist  exclusion  law,  passed  after  the  death  of 


When  Paul  Orleneff  and  Mme.  Nazimova  arrived 
in  New  York  to  acquaint  the  American  public  with 
Russian  dramatic  art,  Emma  Goldman  became  the 
manager  of  the  undertaking.  By  much  patience 
and  perseverance  she  succeeded  in  raising  the  neces- 
sary funds  to  introduce  the  Russian  artists  to  the 
theatergoers  of  New  York  and  Chicago.  Though 
financially  not  a  success,  the  venture  proved  of  great 
artistic  value.  As  manager  of  the  Russian  theater 
Emma  Goldman  enjoyed  some  unique  experiences. 
M.  Orleneff  could  converse  only  in  Russian,  and 
"Miss  Smith"  was  forced  to  act  as  his  interpreter  at 
various  polite  functions.  Most  of  the  aristocratic 
ladies  of  Fifth  Avenue  had  not  the  least  inkling  that 
the  amiable  manager  who  so  entertainingly  dis- 
cussed philosophy,  drama,  and  literature  at  their  five 
o'clock  teas,  was  the  "notorious"  Emma  Goldman.  If 
the  latter  should  some  day  write  her  autobiography, 
she  will  no  doubt  have  many  interesting  anecdotes 
to  relate  in  connection  with  these  experiences. 

The  weekly  Anarchist  publication  Free  Society, 
issued  by  the  Isaak  family,  was  forced  to  sus- 
pend in  consequence  of  the  nation-wide  fury  that 
swept  the  country  after  the  death  of  McKinley. 
To  fill  out  the  gap  Emma  Goldman,  in  co-operation 
with  Max  Baginski  and  other  comrades,  decided  to 
publish  a  monthly  magazine  devoted  to  the  further- 
ance of  Anarchist  ideas  in  life  and  literature.  The 
first  issue  of  Mother  Earth  appeared  in  the  month  of 
March,  1906,  the  initial  expenses  of  the  periodical 
partly  covered  by  the  proceeds  of  a  theater  benefit 
given  by  Orleneff,  Mme.  Nazimova,  and  their  com- 


pany,  in  favor  of  the  Anarchist  magazine.  Under 
tremendous  difficulties  and  obstacles  the  tireless  prop- 
agandist has  succeeded  in  continuing  Mother  Earth 
uninterruptedly  since  1906 — an  achievement  rarely 
equalled  in  the  annals  of  radical  publications. 

In  May,  1906,  Alexander  Berkman  at  last  left  the 
hell  of  Pennsylvania,  where  he  had  passed  the  best 
fourteen  years  of  his  life.  No  one  had  believed  in 
the  possibility  of  his  survival.  His  liberation  ter- 
minated a  nightmare  of  fourteen  years  for  Emma 
Goldman,  and  an  important  chapter  of  her  career 
was  thus  concluded. 

Nowhere  had  the  birth  of  the  Russian  revolution 
aroused  such  vital  and  active  response  as  among 
the  Russians  living  in  America.  The  heroes  of  the 
revolutionary  movement  in  Russia,  Tchaikovsky, 
Mme.  Breshkovskaia,  Gershuni,  and  others  visited 
these  shores  to  waken  the  sympathies  of  the  Ameri- 
can people  toward  the  struggle  for  liberty,  and  to 
collect  aid  for  its  continuance  and  support.  The 
success  of  these  efforts  was  to  a  considerable  extent 
due  to  the  exertions,  eloquence,  and  the  talent  for 
organization  on  the  part  of  Emma  Goldman.  This 
opportunity  enabled  her  to  give  valuable  services  to 
the  struggle  for  liberty  in  her  native  land.  It  is  not 
generally  known  that  it  is  the  Anarchists  who  are 
mainly  instrumental  in  insuring  the  success,  moral 
as  well  as  financial,  of  most  of  the  radical  under- 
takings. The  Anarchist  is  indifferent  to  acknowl- 
edged appreciation;  the  needs  of  the  Cause  absorb 
his  whole  interest,  and  to  these  he  devotes  his 
energy  and  abilities.    Yet  it  may  be  mentioned  that 


some  otherwise  decent  folks,  though  at  all  times 
anxious  for  Anarchist  support  and  co-operation,  are 
ever  willing  to  monopolize  all  the  credit  for  the 
work  done.  During  the  last  several  decades  it  was 
chiefly  the  Anarchists  who  had  organized  all  the 
great  .  revolutionary  efforts,  and  aided  in  every 
struggle  for  liberty.  But  for  fear  of  shocking  the 
respectable  mob,  who  looks  upon  the  Anarchists  as 
the  apostles  of  Satan,  and  because  of  their  social 
position  in  bourgeois  society,  the  would-be  radicals 
ignore  the  activity  of  the  Anarchists. 

In  1907  Emma  Goldman  participated  as  delegate 
to  the  second  Anarchist  Congress,  at  Amsterdam. 
She  was  intensely  active  in  all  its  proceedings  and 
supported  the  organization  of  the  Anarchist  Inter- 
nationale. Together  with  the  other  American  dele- 
gate, Max  Baginski,  she  submitted  to  the  congress 
an  exhaustive  report  of  American  conditions,  closing 
with  the  following  characteristic  remarks : 

"The  charge  that  Anarchism  is  destructive, 
rather  than  constructive,  and  that,  therefore.  An- 
archism is  opposed  to  organization,  is  one  of  the 
many  falsehoods  spread  by  our  opponents.  They 
confound  our  present  social  institutions  with  or- 
ganization ;  hence  they  fail  to  understand  how  we 
can  oppose  the  former,  and  yet  favor  the  latter.  The 
fact,  however,  is  that  the  two  are  not  identical. 

The  State  is  commonly  regarded  as  the  highest 
form  of  organization.  But  is  it  in  reality  a  true 
organization?  Is  it  not  rather  an  arbitrary  institu- 
tion, cunningly  imposed  upon  the  masses? 


Industry,  too,  is  called  an  organization ;  yet 
nothing  is  farther  from  the  truth.  Industry  is  the 
ceaseless  piracy  of  the  rich  against  the  poor. 

We  are  asked  to  believe  that  the  Army  is  an 
organization,  but  a  close  investigation  will  show 
that  it  is  nothing  else  than  a  cruel  instrument  of 
blind  force. 

The  Public  School !  The  colleges  and  other  insti- 
tutions of  learning,  are  they  not  models  of  organiza- 
tion, offering  the  people  fine  opportunities  for  in- 
struction? Far  from  it.  The  school,  more  than  any 
other  institution,  is  a  veritable  barrack,  where  the 
human  mind  is  drilled  and  manipulated  into  sub- 
mission to  various  social  and  moral  spooks,  and  thus 
fitted  to  continue  our  system  of  exploitation  and 

Organization,  as  we  understand  it,  however,  is  a 
different  thing.  It  is  based,  primarily,  on  freedom. 
It  is  a  natural  and  voluntary  grouping  of  energies 
to  secure  results  beneficial  to  humanity. 

It  is  the  harmony  of  organic  growth  which  pro- 
duces variety  of  color  and  form,  the  complete  whole 
we  admire  in  the  flower.  Analogously  will  the  or- 
ganized activity  of  free  human  beings,  imbued  with 
the  spirit  of  solidarity,  result  in  the  perfection  of 
social  harmony,  which  we  call  Anarchism.  In  fact. 
Anarchism  alone  makes  non-authoritarian  organiza- 
tion of  common  interests  possible,  since  it  abolishes 
the  existing  antagonism  between  individuals  and 

Under  present  conditions  the  antagonism  of  eco- 
nomic and  social  interests  results  in  relentless  war 


a-mong  the  social  units,  and  creates  an  insurmounta- 
ble obstacle  in  the  way  of  a  co-operative  common- 

There  is  a  mistaken  notion  that  organization 
does  not  foster  individual  freedom;  that,  on  the 
contrary,  it  means  the  decay  of  individuality.  In 
reality,  however,  the  true  function  of  organization 
is  to  aid  the  development  and  growth  of  personality. 

Just  as  the  animal  cells,  by  mutual  co-operation, 
express  their  latent  powers  in  formation  of  the  com- 
plete organism,  so  does  the  individual,  by  co-opera- 
tive effort  with  other  individuals,  attain  his  highest 
form  of  development. 

An  organization,  in  the  true  sense,  cannot  re- 
sult from  the  combination  of  mere  nonentities.  It 
must  be  composed  of  self-conscious,  intelligent  in- 
dividualities. Indeed,  the  total  of  the  possibilities 
and  activities  of  an  organization  is  represented  in 
the  expression  of  individual  energies. 

It  therefore  logically  follows  that  the  greater 
the  number  of  strong,  self-conscious  personalities  in 
an  organization,  the  less  danger  of  stagnation,  and 
the  more  intense  its  life  element. 

Anarchism  asserts  the  possibility  of  an  organiza- 
tion without  discipline,  fear,  or  punishment,  and 
without  the  pressure  of  poverty :  a  new  social  or- 
ganism which  will  make  an  end  to  the  terrible 
struggle  for  the  means  of  existence, — the  savage 
struggle  which  undermines  the  finest  qualities  in 
man,  and  ever  widens  the  social  abyss.  In  short, 
Anarchism  strives  towards  a  social  organization 
which  will  establish  well-being'  for  all. 


The  germ  of  such  an  organization  can  be  found 
in  that  form  of  trades-unionism  which  has  done 
away  with  centralization,  bureaucracy,  and  dis- 
ciphne,  and  which  favors  independent  and  direct 
action  on  the  part  of  its  members." 

The  very  considerable  progress  of  Anarchist 
ideas  in  America  can  best  be  gauged  by  the  re- 
markable success  of  the  three  extensive  lecture 
tours  of  Emma  Goldman  since  the  Amsterdam  Con- 
gress of  1907.  Each  tour  extended  over  new  terri- 
tory, including  localities  where  Anarchism  had 
never  before  received  a  hearing.  But  the  most 
gratifying  aspect  of  her  untiring  efforts  is  the  tre- 
mendous sale  of  Anarchist  literature,  whose  propa- 
gandistic  effect  cannot  be  estimated.  It  was  during 
one  of  these  tours  that  a  remarkable  incident  hap- 
pened, strikingly  demonstrating  the  inspiring  poten- 
tialities of  the  Anarchist  idea.  In  San  Francisco,  in 
1908,  Emma  Goldman's  lecture  attracted  a  soldier 
of  the  United  States  Army,  William  Buwalda.  For 
daring  to  attend  an  Anarchist  meeting,  the  free  Re- 
public court-martialed  Buwalda  and  imprisoned  him 
for  one  year.  Thanks  to  the  regenerating  power 
of  the  new  philosophy,  the  government  lost  a  sol- 
dier, but  the  cause  of  liberty  gained  a  man. 

A  propagandist  of  Emma  Goldman's  importance 
is  necessarily  a  sharp  thorn  to  the  reaction.  She  is 
looked  upon  as  a  danger  to  the  continued  existence 
of  authoritarian  usurpation.  No  wonder,  then,  that 
the  enemy  resorts  to  any  and  all  means  to  make  her 


impossible.  A  systematic  attempt  to  suppress  her 
activities  was  organized  a  year  ago  by  the  united 
police  force  of  the  country.  But  like  all  previous 
similar  attempts,  it  failed  in  a  most  brilliant  man- 
ner. Energetic  protests  on  the  part  of  the  intel- 
lectual element  of  America  succeeded  in  overthrow- 
ing the  dastardly  conspiracy  against  free  speech. 
Another  attempt  to  make  Emma  Goldman  impossi- 
ble was  essayed  by  the  Federal  authorities  at  Wash- 
ington. In  order  to  deprive  her  of  the  rights  of 
citizenship,  the  government  revoked  the  citizenship 
papers  of  her  husband,  whom  she  had  married  at 
the  youthful  age  of  eighteen,  and  whose  where- 
abouts, if  he  be  alive,  could  not  be  determined  for 
the  last  two  decades.  The  great  government  of  the 
glorious  United  States  did  not  hesitate  to  stoop 
to  the  most  despicable  methods  to  accomplish  that 
achievement.  But  as  her  citizenship  had  never 
proved  of  use  to  Emma  Goldman,  she  can  bear  the 
loss  with  a  light  heart. 

There  are  personalities  who  possess  such  a  pow- 
erful individuality  that  by  its  very  force  they  exert 
the  most  potent  influence  over  the  best  representa- 
tives of  their  time.  Michael  Bakunin  was  such  a 
personality.  But  for  him,  Richard  Wagner  had 
never  written  Die  Kunst  tmd  die  Revolution.  Emma 
Goldman  is  a  similar  personality.  She  is  a  strong 
factor  in  the  socio-political  life  of  America.  By 
virtue  of  her  eloquence,  energy,  and  brilliant  men- 
tality, she  moulds  the  minds  and  hearts  of  thou- 
sands of  her  auditors. 


Deep  sympathy  and  compassion  for  suffering 
humanity,  and  an  inexorable  honesty  toward  her- 
self, are  the  leading  traits  of  Emma  Goldman.  No 
person,  whether  friend  or  foe,  shall  presume  to 
control  her  goal  or  dictate  her  mode  of  life.  She 
would  perish  rather  than  sacrifice  her  convictions, 
or  the  right  of  self-ownership  of  soul  and  body.  Re- 
spectability could  easily  forgive  the  teaching  of 
theoretic  Anarchism ;  but  Emma  Goldman  does  not 
merely  preach  the  new  philosophy;  she  also  persists 
in  living  it, — and  that  is  the  one  supreme,  unfor- 
givable crime.  Were  she,  like  so  many  radicals,  to 
consider  her  ideal  as  merely  an  intellectual  orna- 
ment; were  she  to  make  concessions  to  existing 
society  and  compromise  with  old  prejudices, — then 
even  the  most  radical  views  could  be  pardoned  in 
her.  But  that  she  takes  her  radicalism  seriously; 
that  it  has  permeated  her  blood  and  marrow  to  the 
extent  where  she  not  merely  teaches  but  also  prac- 
tices her  convictions — this  shocks  even  the  radical 
Mrs.  Grundy.  Emma  Goldman  lives  her  own  life; 
she  associates  with  publicans — hence  the  indigna- 
tion of  the  Pharisees  and  Sadducees. 

It  is  no  mere  coincidence  that  such  divergent 
writers  as  Pietro  Gori  and  William  Marion  Reedy 
find  similar  traits  in  their  characterization  of  Emma 
Goldman.  In  a  contribution  to  La  Questione  Sociale, 
Pietro  Gori  calls  her  a  "moral  power,  a  woman  who, 
with  the  vision  of  a  sibyl,  prophesies  the  coming  of 
a  new  kingdom  for  the  oppressed ;  a  woman  who, 
with  logic  and  deep  earnestness,  analyses  the  ills  of 
society,  and  portrays,  with  artist  touch,  the  coming 


dawn  of  humanity,  founded  on  equality,  brother- 
hood, and  liberty." 

William  Reedy  sees  in  Emma  Goldman  the 
"daughter  of  the  dream,  her  gospel  a  vision  which 
is  the  vision  of  every  truly  great-souled  man  and 
woman  who  has  ever  lived." 

Cowards  who  fear  the  consequences  of  their 
deeds  have  coined  the  word  of  philosophic  Anarch- 
ism. Emma  Goldman  is  too  sincere,  too  defiant,  to 
seek  safety  behind  such  paltry  pleas.  She  is  an 
Anarchist,  pure  and  simple.  She  represents  the 
idea  of  Anarchism  as  framed  by  Josiah  Warren, 
Proudhon,  Bakunin,  Kropotkin,  Tolstoy.  Yet  she 
also  understands  the  psychologic  causes  which  induce 
a  Caserio,  a  Vaillant,  a  Bresci,  a  Berkman,  or  a 
Czolgosz  to  commit  deeds  of  violence.  To  the  sol- 
dier in  the  social  struggle  it  is  a  point  of  honor  to 
come  in  conflict  with  the  powers  of  darkness  and 
tyranny,  and  Emma  Goldman  is  proud  to  count 
among  her  best  friends  and  comrades  men  and 
women  who  bear  the  wounds  and  scars  received  in 

In  the  words  of  Voltairine  de  Cleyre,  characteriz- 
ing Emma  Goldman  after  the  latter's  imprisonment 
in  1893 :  The  spirit  that  animates  Emma  Goldman 
is  the  only  one  which  will  emancipate  the  slave 
from  his  slavery,  the  tyrant  from  his  tyranny — the 
spirit  which  is  willing  to  dare  and  sufifer. 

New  York,  December,  1910. 





Some  twenty-one  years  ago  I  heard  the  first  great 
Anarchist  speaker — the  inimitable  John  Most.  It 
seemed  to  me  then,  and  for  many  years  after,  that  the 
spoken  word  hurled  forth  among  the  masses  with  such 
wonderful  eloquence,  such  enthusiasm  and  fire,  could 
never  be  erased  from  the  human  mind  and  soul.  How 
could  any  one  of  all  the  multitudes  who  flocked  to 
Host's  meetings  escape  his  prophetic  voice !  Surely 
they  had  but  to  hear  him  to  throw  off  their  old  beliefs, 
and  see  the  truth  and  beauty  of  Anarchism ! 

My  one  great  longing  then  was  to  be  able  to  speak 
with  the  tongue  of  John  Most, — that  I,  too,  might 
thus  reach  the  masses.  Oh,  for  the  naivety  of  Youth's 
enthusiasm!  It  is  the  time  when  the  hardest  thing 
seems  but  child's  play.  It  is  the  only  periyd  in  life 
worth  while.  Alas !  This  period  is  but  of  short  dura- 
tion. Like  Spring,  the  Sturm  und  Drang  period  of  the 
propagandist  brings  forth  growth,  frail  and  delicate, 
to  be  matured  or  killed  according  to  its  powers  of 
resistance  against  a  thousand  vicissitudes. 

My  great  faith  in  the  wonder  worker,  the  spoken 
word,  is  no  more.     I  have  realized  its  inadequacy  to 


awaken  thought,  or  even  emotion.  Gradually,  and 
with  no  small  struggle  against  this  realization,  I  came 
to  see  that  oral  propaganda  is  at  best  but  a  means  of 
shaking  people  from  their  lethargy :  it  leaves  no  lasting 
impression.  The  very  fact  that  most  people  attend 
meetings  only  if  aroused  by  newspaper  sensations,  or 
because  they  expect  to  be  amused,  is  proof  that  they 
really  have  no  inner  urge  to  learn. 

It  is  altogether  different  with  the  written  mode  of 
human  expression.  No  one,  unless  intensely  interested 
in  progressive  ideas,  will  bother  with  serious  books. 
That  leads  me  to  another  discovery  made  after  many 
years  of  public  activity.  It  is  this  :  All  claims  of  edu- 
cation notwithstanding,  the  pupil  will  accept  only  that 
which  his  mind  craves.  Already  this  truth  is  recog- 
nized by  most  modern  educators  in  relation  to  the  im- 
mature mind.  I  think  it  is  equally  true  regarding 
the  adult.  Anarchists  or  revolutionists  can  no  more 
be  made  than  musicians.  All  that  can  be  done  is  to 
plant  the  seeds  of  thought.  Whether  something  vital 
will  develop  depends  largely  on  the  fertility  of  the 
human  soil,  though  the  quality  of  the  intellectual  seed 
must  not  be  overlooked. 

In  meetings  the  audience  is  distracted  by  a  thou- 
sand non-essentials.  The  speaker,  though  ever  so 
eloquent,  cannot  escape  the  restlessness  of  the  crowd, 
with  the  inevitable  result  that  he  will  fail  to  strike  root. 
In  all  probability  he  will  not  even  do  justice  to  him- 

The  relation  between  the  writer  and  the  reader  is 
more  intimate.  True,  books  are  only  what  we  want 
them  to  be;  rather,  what  we  read  into  them.    That  we 


can  do  so  demonstrates  the  importance  of  written 
as  against  oral  expression.  It  is  this  certainty  which 
has  induced  me  to  gather  in  one  volume  my  ideas  on 
various  topics  of  individual  and  social  importance. 
They  represent  the  mental  and  soul  struggles  of 
twenty-one  years, — the  conclusions  derived  after  many 
changes  and  inner  revisions. 

I  am  not  sanguine  enough  to  hope  that  my  readers 
will  be  as  numerous  as  those  who  have  heard  me.  But 
I  prefer  to  reach  the  few  who  really  want  to  learn, 
rather  than  the  many  who  come  to  be  amused. 

As  to  the  book,  it  must  speak  for  itself.  Ex- 
planatory remarks  do  but  detract  from  the  ideas  set 
forth.  However,  I  wish  to  forestall  two  objections 
which  will  undoubtedly  be  raised.  One  is  in  reference 
to  the  essay  on  Anarchism;  the  other,  on  Minorities 
versus  Majorities. 

"Why  do  you  not  say  how  things  will  be  operated 
under  Anarchism?"  is  a  question  I  have  had  to  meet 
thousands  of  times.  Because  I  believe  that  Anarchism 
can  not  consistently  impose  an  iron-clad  program  or 
method  on  the  future.  The  things  every  new  genera- 
tion has  to  fight,  and  which  it  can  least  overcome,  are 
the  burdens  of  the  past,  which  holds  us  all  as  in  a  net. 
Anarchism,  at  least  as  I  understand  it,  leaves  posterity 
free  to  develop  its  own  particular  systems,  in  harmony 
with  its  needs.  Our  most  vivid  imagination  can  not 
foresee  the  potentialities  of  a  race  set  free  from  ex- 
ternal restraints.  How,  then,  can  any  one  assume  to 
map  out  a  line  of  conduct  for  those  to  come  ?  We,  who 
pay  dearly  for  every  breath  of  pure,  fresh  air,  must 
guard  against  the  tendency  to  fetter  the  future.     If 


we  succeed  in  clearing  the  soil  from  the  rubbish  of  the 
past  and  present,  we  will  leave  to  posterity  the  greatest 
and  safest  heritage  of  all  ages. 

The  most  disheartening  tendency  common  among 
readers  is  to  tear  out  one  sentence  from  a  work,  as  a 
criterion  of  the  writer's  ideas  or  personality.  Friedrich 
Nietzsche,  for  instance,  is  decried  as  a  hater  of  the 
weak  because  he  believed  in- the  Uebermensch.  It  does 
not  occur  to  the  shallow  interpreters  of  that  giant  mind 
that  this  vision  of  the  Uebermensch  also  called  for  a 
state  of  society  which  will  not  give  birth  to  a  race  of 
weaklings  and  slaves. 

It  is  the  same  narrow  attitude  which  sees  in  Max 
Stirner  naught  but  the  apostle  of  the  theory  "each  for 
himself,  the  devil  take  the  hind  one."  That  Stirner's 
individualism  contains  the  greatest  social  possibilities 
is  utterly  ignored.  Yet,  it  is  nevertheless  true  that  if 
society  is  ever  to  become  free,  it  will  be  so  through 
liberated  individuals,  whose  free  efforts  make  society. 

These  examples  bring  me  to  the  objection  that  will 
be  raised  to  Minorities  versus  Majorities.  No  doubt, 
I  shall  be  excommiunicated  as  an  enemy  of  the  people, 
because  I  repudiate  the  mass  as  a  creative  factor.  I 
shall  prefer  that  rather  than  be  guilty  of  the  dema- 
gogic platitudes  so  commonly  in  vogue  as  a  bait  for 
the  people.  I  realize  the  malady  of  the  oppressed  and 
disinherited  masses  only  too  well,  but  I  refuse  to  pre- 
scribe the  usual  ridiculous  palliatives  which  allow  the 
patient  neither  to  die  nor  to  recover.  One  cannot  be 
too  extreme  in  dealing  with  social  ills ;  besides,  the 
extreme  thing  is  generally  the  true  thing.  My  lack  of 
faith  in  the  majority  is  dictated  by  my  faith  in  the 



potentialities  of  the  individual.  Only  when  the  latter 
becomes  free  to  choose  his  associates  for  a  common 
purpose,  can  we  hope  for  order  and  harmony  out  of 
this  world  of  chaos  and  inequality. 

For  the  rest,  my  book  must  speak  for  itself. 





Ever  reviled,   accursed,  ne'er  understood, 

Thou  art  the  grisly  terror  of  our  age. 
"Wreck  of  all  order,"  cry  the  multitude, 

"Art  thou,  and  war  and  murder's  endless  rage." 
O,  let  them  cry.    To  them  that  ne'er  have  striven 

The  truth  that  lies  behind  a  word  to  find, 
To  them  the  word's  right  meaning  was  not  given. 

They  shall  continue  blind  among  the  blind. 
But  thou,  O  word,  so  clear,  so  strong,  so  pure, 

Thou  sayest  all  which  I  for  goal  have  taken. 
I  give  thee  to  the  future!    Thine  secure 
'When  each  at  least  unto  himself  shall  waken. 
Comes  it  in  sunshine?    In  the  tempest's  thrill? 

I  cannot  tell — but  it  the  earth  shall  see! 
I  am  an  Anarchist !    Wherefore  I  will 

Not  rule,  and  also  ruled  I  will  not  be ! 

John  Henry  Mack  ay. 

The  history  of  human  growth  and  development  is 
at  the  same  time  the  history  of  the  terrible  struggle 
of  every  new  idea  heralding  the  approach  of  a  brighter 
dawn.     In   its  tenacious  hold   on   tradition,  the   Old 


has  never  hesitated  to  make  use  of  the  foulest  and 
crudest  means  to  stay  the  advent  of  the  New,  in 
whatever  form  or  period  the  latter  may  have  asserted 
itself.  Nor  need  we  retrace  our  steps  into  the  dis- 
tant past  to  realize  the  enormity  of  opposition,  diffi- 
culties, and  hardships  placed  in  the  path  of  every 
progressive  idea.  The  rack,  the  thumbscrew,  and 
the  knout  are  still  with  us;  so  are  the  convict's  garb 
and  the  social  wrath,  all  conspiring  against  the  spirit 
that  is  serenely  marching  on. 

Anarchism  could  not  hope  to  escape  the  fate  of 
all  other  ideas  of  innovation.  Indeed,  as  the  most 
revolutionary  and  uncompromising  innovator,  Anarch- 
ism must  needs  meet  with  the  combined  ignorance 
and  venom  of  the  world  it  aims  to  reconstruct. 

To  deal  even  remotely  with  all  that  is  being  said 
and  done  against  Anarchism  would  necessitate  the 
writing  of  a  whole  volume.  I  shall  therefore  meet 
only  two  of  the  principal  objections.  In  so  doing, 
I  shall  attempt  to  elucidate  what  Anarchism  really 
stands  for. 

The  strange  phenomenon  of  the  opposition  to 
Anarchism  is  that  it  brings  to  light  the  relation  be- 
tween so-called  intelligence  and  ignorance.  And  yet 
this  is  not  so  very  strange  when  we  consider  the 
relativity  of  all  things.  The  ignorant  mass  has  in 
its  favor  that  it  makes  no  pretense  of  knowledge  or 
tolerance.  Acting,  as  it  always  does,  by  mere  impulse, 
its  reasons  are  like  those  of  a  child.  "Why?" 
"Because."  Yet  the  opposition  of  the  uneducated  to 
Anarchism  deserves  the  same  consideration  as  that 
of  the  intelligent  man. 


What,  then,  are  the  objections?  First,  Anarchism 
is  impractical,  though  a  beautiful  ideal.  Second, 
Anarchism  stands  for  violence  and  destruction,  hence 
it  must  be"repudiated  as  vile  and  dangerous.  Both 
the  intelligent  man  and  the  ignorant  mass  judge  not 
from  a  thorough  knowledge  of  the  subject,  but  either 
from  hearsay  or  false  interpretation, 

A  practical_scheme,  says  Oscar  Wilde,  is  either 
one  already  in  existence,  or  a  scheme  that  could  be 
carried  out  under  the  existing  conditions;  but  it  is 
exactly  the  existing  conditions  that  one  objects  to, 
and  any  scheme  that  could  accept  these  conditions  is 
wrong  and  foolish.  The  true  criterion  of  the  prac- 
tical, therefore,  is  not  whether  the  latter  can  keep 
intact  the  wrong  or  foolish ;  rather  is  it  whether  the 
scheme  has  vitality  enough  to  leave  the  stagnant 
waters  of  the  old,  and  build,  as  well  as  sustain,  new 
life.  In  the  light  of  this  conception.  Anarchism  is 
indeed  practical.  More  than  any  other  idea,  it  is 
helping  to  do  away  with  the  wrong  and  foolish; 
more  than  any  other  idea,  it  is  building  and  sus- 
taining new  life. 

The  emotions  of  the  ignorant  man  are  continuously 
kept  at  a  pitch  by  the  most  blood-curdling  stories  about 
Anarchism.  Not  a  thing  too  outrageous  to  be  em- 
ployed against  this  philosophy  and  its  exponents. 
Therefore  Anarchism  represents  to  the  unthinking 
v,^hat  the  proverbial  bad  man  does  to  the  child, — 
a  black  monster  bent  on  swallowing  everything;  in 
short,  destruction  and  violence. 

Destruction  and  violence!  How  is  the  ordinary 
man  to  know  that  the  most  violent  element  in  society 


is  ignorance;  that  its  power  of  destruction  is  the 
very  thing  Anarchism  is  combating?  Nor  is  he  aware 
that  Anarchism,  whose  roots,  as  it  were,  are  part  of 
nature's  forces,  destroys,  not  healthful  tissue,  but  par- 
asitic growths  that  feed  on  the  life's  essence  of  so- 
ciety. It  is  merely  clearing  the  soil  from,  weeds  and 
sagebrush,  that  it  may  eventually  bear  healthy  fruit. 

Someone  has  said  that  it  requires  less  mental  ef- 
fort to  condemn  than  to  think.  The  widespread 
mental  indolence,  so  prevalent  in  society,  proves  this 
to  be  only  too  true.  Rather  than  to  go  to  the  bot- 
tom of  any  given  idea,  to  examine  into  its  origin 
and  meaning,  most  people  will  either  condemn  it  alto- 
gether, or  rely  on  some  superficial  or  prejudicial  def- 
inition of  non-essentials. 

Anarchism  urges  man  to  think,  to  investigate,  to 
analyze  every  proposition;  but  that  the  brain  capacity 
of  the  average  reader  be  not  taxed  too  much,  I  also 
shall  begin  with  a  definition,  and  then  elaborate  on 
the  latter.^— — --^ 

ANARCHISM :— The  philosophy  of  a  new  social  order 
based  on  liberty  unrestricted  by  man-made  law ;  the 
theory  that  all  forms  of  government  rest  on  violence, 
and  are  therefore  wrong  and  harmful,  as  well  as 

The  new  social  order  rests,  of  course,  on  the 
materialistic  basis  of  Ufe;  but  while  all  Anarchists 
agree  that  the  main  evil  today  is  an  economic  one, 
they  maintain  that  the  solution  of  that  evil  can  be 
brought  about  only  through  the  consideration  of 
every  phase  of  life, — individual,  as  well  as  the  col- 
lective; the  internal,  as  well  as  the  external  phases. 


A  thorough  perusal  of  the  history  of  human  devel- 
opment will  disclose  two  elements  in  bitter  conflict 
with  each  other;  elements  that  are  only  now  begin- 
ning to  be  understood,  not  as  foreign  to  each  other, 
but  as  closely  related  and  truly  harmonious,  if  only 
placed  in  proper  environment:  the  individual  and 
social  instincts.  The  individual  and  society  have  ^ 
waged  a  relentless  and  bloody  battle  for  ages,  each' 
striving  for  supremacy,  because  each  was  blind  to 
the  value  and  importance  of  the  other.  The  individual 
and  social  instincts, — the  one  a  most  potent  factor  for 
individual  endeavor,  for  growth,  aspiration,  self-reali- 
zation; the  other  an  equally  potent  factor  for  mutual 
helpfulness  and  social  well-being. 

The  explanation  of  the  storm  raging  within  the 
individual,  and  between  him  and  his  surroundings, 
is  not  far  to  seek.  The  primitive  man,  unable  to 
understand  his  being,  much  less  the  unity  of  all  life, 
felt  himself  absolutely  dependent  on  blind,  hidden 
forces  ever  ready  to  mock  and  taunt  him.  Out  of 
that  attitude  grew  the  religious  concepts  of  man  as 
a  mere  speck  of  dust  dependent  on  superior  powers 
on  high,  who  can  only  be  appeased  by  complete  sur- 
render. All  the  early  sagas  rest  on  that  idea,  which 
continues  to  be  the  Leitmotiv  of  the  biblical  tales 
dealing  with  the  relation  of  man  to  God,  to  the  State, 
to  society.  Again  and  again  the  same  motif,  man 
is  nothing,  the  powers  are  everything.  Thus  Jehovah 
would  only  endure  man  on  condition  of  complete 
surrender.  Man  can  have  all  the  glories  of  the  earth, 
but  he  must  not  become  conscious  of  himself.  The 
State,  society,  and  moral  laws  all  sing  the  same  re- 


frain :  Mzn  can  have  all  the  glories  of  the  earth,  but 
he  must  not  become  conscious  of  himself. 

Anarchism  is  the  only  philosophy  which  brings 
to  man  the  consciousness  of  himself;  which  main- 
tains that  God,  the  State,  and  society  are  non-existent, 
that  their  promises  are  null  and  void,  since  they  can 
be  fulfilled  only  through  man's  subordination.  An- 
archism is  therefore  the  teacher  of  the  unity  of  life; 
not  merely  in  nature,  but  in  man.  There  is  no  con- 
flict between  the  individual  and  the  social  instincts, 
any  more  than  there  is  between  the  heart  and  the 
lungs :  the  one  the  receptacle  of  a  precious  life  es- 
sence, the  other  the  repository  of  the  element  that 
keeps  the  essence  pure  and  strong.  The  individual 
is  the  heart  of  society,  conserving  the  essence  of  social 
life;  society  is  the  lungs  which  are  distributing  the 
element  to  keep  the  life  essence — that  is,  the  in- 
dividual— pure  and  strong. 

"The  one  thing  of  value  in  the  world,"  says  Emer- 
son, "is  the  active  soul;  this  every  man  contains 
within  him.  The  soul  active  sees  absolute  truth  and 
utters  truth  and  creates."  In  other  words,  the  in- 
dividual instinct  is  the  thing  of  value  in  the  world. 
It  is  the  true  soul  that  sees  and  creates  the  truth 
alive,  out  of  which  is  to  come  a  still  greater  truth, 
the  re-born  social  soul. 

Anarchism  is  the  great  liberator  of  man  from  the 
phantoms  that  have  held  him  captive;  it  is  the  ar- 
biter and  pacifier  of  the  two  forces  for  individual 
and  social  harmony.  To  accomplish  that  unity. 
Anarchism  has  declared  war  on  the  pernicious  in- 
fluences which  have  so  far  prevented  the  harmonious 


blending  of   individual    and   social   instincts,   the   in- 
dividual and  society. 

...Religion,  the  dominion  of  the  human  mind;  Prop- 
erty, the  dominion  of  human  needs ;  and  Govern- 
ment, the  dominion  of  human  conduct,  represent  the 
stronghold  of  man's  enslavement  and  all  the  horrors 
it  entails.  Religion !  How  it  dominates  man's  mind, 
how  it  humiliates  and  degrades  his  soul.  God  is 
everything,  man  is  nothing,  says  religion.  But  out 
of  that  nothing  God  has  created  a  kingdom  so  des- 
potic, so  tyrannical,  so  cruel,  so  terribly  exacting  that 
naught  but  gloom  and  tears  and  blood  have  ruled 
the  world  since  gods  began.  Anarchism  rouses  man 
to  rebellion  against  this  black  monster.  Break  your 
mental  fetters,  says  Anarchism  to  man,  for  not  until 
you  think  and  judge  for  yourself  will  you  get  rid 
of  the  dominion  of  darkness,  the  greatest  obstacle  to 
all    progress. 

Property,  the  dominion  of  man's  needs,  the  denial 
of  the  right  to  satisfy  his  needs.  Time  was  when 
property  claimed  a  divine  right,  when  it  came  to 
man  with  the  same  refrain,  even  as  religion,  ''Sacri- 
fice !  Abnegate !  Submit !"  The  spirit  of  Anarchism 
has  lifted  man  from  his  prostrate  position.  He  now 
stands  erect,  with  his  face  toward  the  light.  He  has 
learned  to  see  the  insatiable,  devouring,  devastating 
nature  of  property,  and  he  is  preparing  to  strike  the 
monster  dead. 

"Property  is  robbery,"  said  the  great  French 
Anarchist  Proudhon.  Yes,  but  without  risk  and 
danger  to  the  robber.  Monopolizing  the  accumulated 
efforts  of  man,  property  has  robbed  him  of  his  birth- 


right,  and  has  turned  him  loose  a  pauper  and  an  out- 
cast. Property  has  not  even  the  time-worn  excuse 
that  man  does  not  create  enough  to  satisfy  all  needs. 
The  ABC  student  of  economics  knows  that  the 
productivity  of  labor  within  the  last  few  decades  far 
exceeds  normal  demand.  But  what  are  normal 
demands  to  an  abnormal  institution?  The  only 
demand  that  property  recognizes  is  its  own  glutton- 
ous appetite  for  greater  wealth,  because  wealth 
means  power;  the  power  to  subdue,  to  crush,  to 
exploit,  the  power  to  enslave,  to  outrage,  to  degrade. 
America  is  particularly  boastful  of  her  great  power, 
her  enormous  national  wealth.  Poor  America,  of 
what  avail  is  all  her  wealth,  if  the  individuals  com- 
prising the  nation  are  wretchedly  poor?  If  they  live 
in  squalor,  in  filth,  in  crime,  with  hope  and  joy  gone, 
a  homeless,  soilless  army  of  human  prey. 

It  is  generally  conceded  that  unless  the  returns 
of  any  business  venture  exceed  the  cost,  bankruptcy 
is  inevitable.  But  those  engaged  in  the  business  of 
producing  wealth  have  not  yet  learned  even  this 
simple  lesson.  Every  year  the  cost  of  production  in 
human  life  is  growing  larger  (50,000  killed,  100,000 
Vv'ounded  in  America  last  year)  ;  the  returns  to  the 
masses,  who  help  to  create  wealth,  are  ever  getting 
smaller.  Yet  America  continues  to  be  blind  to  the 
inevitable  bankruptcy  of  our  business  of  production. 
Nor  is  this  the  only  crime  of  the  latter.  Still  more 
fatal  is  the  crime  of  turning  the  producer  into  a  mere 
particle  of  a  machine,  with  less  wull  and  decision 
than  his  master  of  steel  and  iron.  Man  is  being 
robbed  not  merely  of  the  products  of  his  labor,  but 


of  the  power  of  free  initiative,  of  originality,  and 
the  interest  in,  or  desire  for,  the  things  he  is  making. 

Real  wealth  consists  in  things  of  utility  and 
beauty,  in  things  that  help  to  create  strong,  beautiful 
bodies  and  surroundings  inspiring  to  live  in.  But 
if  man  is  doomed  to  wind  cotton  around  a  spool,  or 
dig  coal,  or  build  roads  for  thirty  years  of  his  life, 
there  can  be  no  talk  of  wealth.  What  he  gives  to 
the  world  is  only  gray  and  hideous  things,  reflecting 
a  dull  and  hideous  existence, — too  weak  to  live,  too 
cowardly  to  die.  Strange  to  say,  there  are  people 
who  extol  this  deadening  method  of  centralized  pro- 
duction as  the  proudest  achievement  of  our  age.  They 
fail  utterly  to  realize  that  if  we  are  to  continue  in 
machine  subserviency,  our  slavery  is  more  complete 
than  was  our  bondage  to  the  King.  They  do  not 
want  to  know  that  centralization  is  not  only  the  death- 
knell  of  liberty,  but  also  of  health  and  beauty,  of 
art  and  science,  all  these  being  impossible  in  a  clock- 
like, mechanical  atmosphere. 

Anarchism  cannot  but  repudiate  such  a  method 
of  production:  its  goal  is  the  freest  possible  ex- 
pression of  all  the  latent  powers  of  the  individual. 
Oscar  Wilde  defines  a  perfect  personality  as  "one 
who  develops  under  perfect  conditions,  who  is  not 
wounded,  maimed,  or  in  danger."  A  perfect  person- 
ality, then,  is  only  possible  in  a  state  of  society  where 
man  is  free  to  choose  the  mode  of  work,  the  condi- 
tions of  work,  and  the  freedom  to  work.  One  to 
whom  the  making  of  a  table,  the  building  of  a  house, 
or  the  tilling  of  the  soil,  is  what  the  painting  is  to 
the   artist    and   the    discovery    to   the    scientist, — the 


result  of  inspiration,  of  intense  longing,  and  deep  in- 
terest in  work  as  a  creative  force.  That  being  the 
ideal  of  Anarchism,  its  economic  arrangements  must 
consist  of  voluntary  productive  and  distributive  asso- 
ciations, gradually  developing  into  free  communism, 
as  the  best  means  of  producing  with  the  least  waste 
of  human  energy.  Anarchism,  however,  also  recog- 
nizes the  right  of  the  individual,  or  numbers  of  in- 
dividuals, to  arrange  at  all  times  for  other  forms 
of  work,  in  harmony  with  their  tastes  and  desires. 

Such  free  display  of  human  energy  being  possible 
only  under  complete  individual  and  social  freedom, 
Anarchism  directs  its  forces  against  the  third  and 
greatest  foe  of  all  social  equality;  namely,  the  State, 
organized  authority,  or  statutory  law, — the  dominion 
of  human  conduct. 

Just  as  religion  has  fettered  the  human  mind,  and 
as  property,  or  the  monopoly  of  things,  has  subdued 
and  stifled  man's  needs,  so  has  the  State  enslaved 
his  spirit,  dictating  every  phase  of  conduct.  "All 
government  in  essence,"  says  Emerson,  "is  tyranny." 
It  matters  not  whether  it  is  government  by  divine 
right  or  majority  rule.  In  every  instance  its  aim 
is  the  absolute  subordination  of  the  individual. 

Referring  to  the  American  government,  the  great- 
est American  Anarchist,  David  Thoreau,  said :  "Gov- 
ernment, what  is  it  but  a  tradition,  though  a  recent 
one,  endeavoring  to  transmit  itself  unimpaired  to 
posterity,  but  each  instance  losing  its  integrity;  it 
has  not  the  vitality  and  force  of  a  single  living  man. 
Law   never  made   man   a  whit  more   just;   and   by 


means  of  their  respect  for  it,  even  the  well  disposed 
are  daily  made  agents  of  injustice." 

Indeed,  the  keynote  of  government  is  injustice. 
With  the  arrogance  and  self-sufficiency  of  the  King 
who  could  do  no  wrong,  governments  ordain,  judge, 
condemn,  and  punish  the  most  insignificant  offenses, 
while  maintaining  themselves  by  the  greatest  of  all 
offenses,  the  annihilation  of  individual  liberty.  Thus 
Ouida  is  right  when  she  maintains  that  "the  State 
only  aims  at  instilling  those  qualities  in  its  public 
by  which  its  demands  are  obeyed,  and  its  exchequer 
is  filled.  Its  highest  attainment  is  the  reduction  of 
mankind  to  clockwork.  In  its  atmosphere  all  those 
finer  and  more  delicate  liberties,  which  require  treat- 
ment and  spacious  expansion,  inevitably  dry  up  and 
perish.  The  State  requires  a  taxpaying  machine  in 
which  there  is  no  hitch,  an  exchequer  in  which  there 
is  never  a  deficit,  and  a  public,  monotonous,  obedient, 
colorless,  spiritless,  moving  humbly  like  a  flock  of 
sheep  along  a  straight  high  road  between  two  walls." 

Yet  even  a  flock  of  sheep  would  resist  the  chicanery 
of  the  State,  if  it  were  not  for  the  corruptive,  ty- 
rannical, and  oppressive  methods  it  employs  to  serve 
its  purposes.  Therefore  Bakunin  repudiates  the  State 
as  synonymous  with  the  surrender  of  the  liberty  of 
the  individual  or  small  minorities, — the  destruction  of 
social  relationship,  the  curtailment,  or  complete  denial 
even,  of  life  itself,  for  its  own  aggrandizement.  The 
State  is  the  altar  of  political  freedom  and,  like  the 
religious  altar,  it  is  maintained  for  the  purpose  of 
human  sacrifice. 

In   fact,   there   is  hardly   a  modern  thinker   who 


does  not  agree  that  government,  organized  authority, 
or  the  State,  is  necessary  only  to  maintain  or  pro- 
tect property  and  monopoly.  It  has  proven  efficient 
in  that  function  only. 

Even  George  Bernard  Shaw,  who  hopes  for  the 
miraculous  from  the  State  under  Fabianism,  never- 
theless admits  that  "it  is  at  present  a  huge  machine 
for  robbing  and  slave-driving  of  the  poor  by  brute 
force."  This  being  the  case,  it  is  hard  to  see  why 
the  clever  prefacer  wishes  to  uphold  the  State  after 
poverty  shall  have  ceased  to  exist. 

Unfortunately  there  are  still  a  number  of  people 
who  continue  in  the  fatal  belief  that  government  rests 
on  natural  laws,  that  it  maintains  social  order  and 
harmony,  that  it  diminishes  crime,  and  that  it  pre- 
vents the  lazy  man  from  fleecing  his  fellows.  I 
shall  therefore  examine  these  contentions. 

A  natural  law  is  that  factor  in  man  which  asserts 
itself  freely  and  spontaneously  without  any  external 
force,  in  harmony  with  the  requirements  of  nature. 
For  instance,  the  demand  for  nutrition,  for  sex  grati- 
fication, for  light,  air,  and  exercise,  is  a  natural  law. 
But  its  expression  needs  not  the  machinery  of  govern- 
ment, needs  not  the  club,  the  gun,  the  handcuff,  or 
the  prison.  To  obey  such  laws,  if  we  may  call  it 
obedience,  requires  only  spontaneity  and  free  oppor- 
tunity. That  governments  do  not  maintain  them- 
selves through  such  harmonious  factors  is  proven  by 
the  terrible  array  of  violence,  force,  and  coercion  all 
governments  use  in  order  to  live.  Thus  Blackstone 
is  right  when  he  says,  "Human  laws  are  invalid,  be- 
cause they  are  contrary  to  the  laws  of  nature." 


Unless  it  be  the  order  of  Warsaw  after  the 
slaughter  of  thousands  of  people,  it  is  difficult  to  ascribe 
to  governments  any  capacity  for  order  or  social  har- 
mony. Order  derived  through  submission  and  main- 
tained by  terror  is  not  much  of  a  safe  guaranty;  yet 
that  is  the  only  "order"  that  governments  have  ever 
maintained.  True  social  harmony  grows  naturally  out 
of  solidarity  of  interests.  In  a  society  where  those 
who  always  work  never  have  anything,  while  those 
who  never  work  enjoy  everything,  solidarity  of  in- 
terests is  non-existent ;  hence  social  harmony  is  but 
a  myth.  The  only  way  organized  authority  meets 
this  grave  situation  is  by  extending  still  greater 
privileges  to  those  who  have  already  monopolized 
the  earth,  and  by  still  further  enslaving  the  disin- 
herited masses.  Thus  the  entire  arsenal  of  govern- 
ment— laws,  police,  soldiers,  the  courts,  legislatures, 
prisons, — is  strenuously  engaged  in  "harmonizing"  ^^ 
tlie  most  antagonistic  elements  in  society. 

The  most  absurd  apology  for  authority  and  law 
is  that  they  serve  to  diminish  crime.  Aside  from 
the  fact  that  the  State  is  itself  the  greatest  crim- 
inal, breaking  every  written  and  natural  law,  steal- 
ing in  the  form  of  taxes,  killing  in  the  form  of  war 
and  capital  punishment,  it  has  come  to  an  absolute 
standstill  in  coping  with  crime.  It  has  failed 
utterly  to  destroy  or  even  minimize  the  horrible 
scourge  of  its  own  creation. 

Crime  is  naught  but  m.isdirected  energy.  So  long 
as  every  institution  of  today,  economic,  political, 
social,  and  moral,  conspires  to  misdirect  human 
energy  into  wrong  channels;  so  long  as  most  people 


are  out  of  place  doing  the  things  they  hate  to  do, 
living  a  life  they  loathe  to  live,  crime  will  be  inev- 
itable, and  all  the  laws  on  the  statutes  can  only  in- 
crease, but  never  do  away  with,  crime.  What  does 
society,  as  it  exists  today,  know  of  the  process  of 
despair,  the  poverty,  the  horrors,  the  fearful  struggle 
the  human  soul  must  pass  on  its  way  to  crime  and 
degradation.  Who  that  knows  this  terrible  process 
can  fail  to  see  the  truth  in  these  words  of  Peter 
Kropotkin : 

"Those  who  will  hold  the  balance  between  the 
benefits  thus  attributed  to  law  and  punishment 
and  the  degrading  effect  of  the  latter  on  humanity; 
those  who  will  estimate  the  torrent  of  depravity 
poured  abroad  in  human  society  by  the  informer, 
favored  by  the  Judge  even,  and  paid  for  in  clinking 
cash  by  governments,  under  the  pretext  of  aiding 
to  unmask  crime;  those  who  will  go  within  prison 
walls  and  there  see  what  human  beings  become 
when  deprived  of  liberty,  when  subjected  to  the 
care  of  brutal  keepers,  to  coarse,  cruel  words,  to  a 
thousand  stinging,  piercing  humiliations,  will  agree 
with  us  that  the  entire  apparatus  of  prison  and  pun- 
ishment is  an  abomination  which  ought  to  be 
brought  to  an  end." 

The  deterrent  influence  of  law  on  the  lazy  man 
is  too  absurd  to  merit  consideration.  If  society 
were  only  relieved  of  the  waste  and  expense  of 
keeping  a  lazy  class,  and  the  equally  great  expense 
of  the  paraphernalia  of  protection  this  lazy  class 
requires,  the  social  tables  would  contain  an  abun- 
dance for  all,  including  even  the  occasional   lazy 


individual.  Besides,  it  is  well  to  consider  that  lazi- 
ness results  either  from  special  privileges,  or  phys- 
ical and  mental  abnormalities.  Our  present  insane 
system  of  production  fosters  both,  and  the  most 
astounding  phenomenon  is  that  people  should  want 
to  work  at  all  now.  Anarchism  aims  to  strip  labor 
of  its  deadening,  dulling  aspect,  of  its  gloom  and 
compulsion.  It  aims  to  make  work  an  instrument 
of  joy,  of  strength,  of  color,  o£  real  harmony,  so 
that  the  poorest  sort  of  a  man  should  find  in  work 
both  recreation  and  hope. 

To  achieve  such  an  arrangement  of  life,  govern- 
ment, with  its  unjust,  arbitrary,  repressive  measures, 
must  be  done  away  with.  At  best  it  has  but  im- 
posed one  single  mode  of  life  upon  all,  without 
regard  to  individual  and  social  variations  and  needs. 
In  destroying  government  and  statutory  laws,  An- 
archism proposes  to  rescue  the  self-respect  and 
independence  of  the  individual  from  all  restraint 
and  invasion  by  authority.  Only  in  freedom  can 
man  grow  to  his  full  stature.  Only  in  freedom  will 
he  learn  to  think  and  move,  and  give  the  very  best 
in  him.  Only  in  freedom  will  he  realize  the  true 
force  of  the  social  bonds  which  knit  men  together, 
and  which  are  the  true  foundation  of  a  normal 
social  life. 

But  what  about^human  nature?  Can  it  be 
changed?  And  if  not7~wiirTt  endure  under  An- 

Poor  human  nature,  what  horrible  crimes  have 
been  committed  in  thy  name !  Every  fool,  from 
king     to     policeman,     from     the     flatheaded     par- 


son  to  the  visionless  dabbler  in  science,  presumes 
to  speak  authoritatively  of  human  nature.  The 
greater  the  mental  charlatan,  the  more  definite  his 
insistence  on  the  wickedness  and  weaknesses  of 
human  nature.  Yet,  how  can  any  one  speak  of  it  to- 
day, with  every  soul  in  a  prison,  with  every  heart  fet- 
tered, wounded,  and  maimed? 

John  Burroughs  has  stated  that  experimental 
study  of  animals  in  captivity  is  absolutely  useless. 
Their  character,  their  habits,  their  appetites  un- 
dergo a  complete  transformation  when  torn  from 
their  soil  in  field  and  forest.  With  human  nature 
caged  in  a  narrow  space,  whipped  daily  into  sub- 
mission, how  can  we  speak  of  its  potentialities  ? 

Freedom,  expansion,  opportunity,  and,  above  all, 
peace  and  repose,  alone  can  teach  us  the  real  dom- 
inant factors  of  human  nature  and  all  its  wonderful 

Anarchism,  then,  really  stands  for  the  liberation 
of  the  human  mind  from  the  dominion  of  religion; 
the  liberation  of  the  human  body  from  the  dominion 
of  property;  liberation  from  the  shackles  and  re- 
straint of  government.  Anarchism  stands  for  a 
social  order  based  on  the  free  grouping  of  individ- 
uals for  the  purpose  of  producing  real  social  wealth ; 
an  order  that  will  guarantee  to  every  human  being 
free  access  to  the  earth  and  full  enjoyment  of  the 
necessities  of  life,  according  to  individual  desires, 
tastes,  and  inclinations. 

This  is  not  a  wild  fancy  or  an  aberration  of  the 
mind.  It  is  the  conclusion  arrived  at  by  hosts  of 
intellectual  men  and  women  the  world  over;  a  con- 


elusion  resulting  from  the  close  and  studious  ob- 
servation of  the  tendencies  of  modern  society :  indi- 
vidual liberty  and  economic  equality,  the  twin 
forces  for  the  birth  of  what  is  fine  and  true  in  man. 
As  to  methods.  Anarchism  is  not,  as  some  may 
'^suppose,  a  theory  of  the  future  to  be  realized 
through  divine  inspiration.  It  is  a  living  force  in 
the  affairs  of  our  life,  constantly  creating  new  con- 
ditions. The  methods  of  Anarchism  therefore  do 
not  comprise  an  iron-clad  program  to  be  carried 
out  under  all  circumstances.  Methods  must  grow 
out  of  the  economic  needs  of  each  place  and 
clime,  and  of  the  intellectual  and  temperamental 
requirements  of  the  individual.  The  serene,  calm 
character  of  a  Tolstoy  will  wish  different  methods 
for  social  reconstruction  than  the  intense,  overflow- 
ing personality  of  a  Michael  Bakunin  or  a  Peter  Kro- 
potkin.  Equally  so  it  must  be  apparent  that  the 
economic  and  political  needs  of  Russia  will  dictate 
more  drastic  measures  than  would  England  or 
America.  Anarchism  does  not  stand  for  military 
drill  and  uniformity;  it  does,  however,  stand  for 
the  spirit  of  revolt,  in  whatever  form,  against 
everything  that  hinders  human  growth.  All  An- 
archists agree  in  that,  as  they  also  agree  in  their 
opposition  to  the  political  machinery  as  a  means 
of  bringing  about  the  great  social  change. 

"All  voting,"  says  Thoreau,  "is  a  sort  of  gaming, 
like  checkers,  or  backgammon,  a  playing  with  right 
and  wrong;  its  obligation  never  exceeds  that  of 
expediency.  Even  voting  for  the  right  thing  is 
doing  nothing  for  it.     A  wise  man  will  not  leave 


the  right  to  the  mercy  of  chance,  nor  wish  it  to  pre- 
vail through  the  power  of  the  majority."  A  close 
examination  of  the  machinery  of  politics  and  its 
achievements  will  bear  out  the  logic  of  Thoreau. 

What  does  the  history  of  parliamentarism  show? 
Nothing  but  failure  and  defeat,  not  even  a  single 
reform  to  ameliorate  the  economic  and  social  stress 
of  the  people.  Laws  have  been  passed  and  enact- 
ments made  for  the  improvement  and  protection  of 
labor.  Thus  it  was  proven  only  last  year  that  Illi- 
nois, with  the  most  rigid  laws  for  mine  protection, 
had  the  greatest  mine  disasters.  In  States  where 
child  labor  laws  prevail,  child  exploitation  is  at  its 
highest,  and  though  with  us  the  workers  enjoy  full 
political  opportunities,  capitalism  has  reached  the  most 
brazen  zenith. 

Even  w'ere  the  workers  able  to  have  their  own 
representatives,  for  which  our  good  Socialist  politi- 
cians are  clamoring,  what  chances  are  there  for 
their  honesty  and  good  faith?  One  has  but  to  bear 
in  mind  the  process  of  politics  to  realize  that  its 
path  of  good  intentions  is  full  of  pitfalls :  wire- 
pulling, intriguing,  flattering,  lying,  cheating;  in 
fact,  chicanery  of  every  description,  whereby  the 
political  aspirant  can  achieve  success.  Added  to 
that  is  a  complete  demoralization  of  character  and 
conviction,  until  nothing  is  left  that  would  make 
one  hope  for  anything  from  such  a  human  derelict. 
Time  and  time  again  the  people  were  foolish  enough 
to  trust,  believe,  and  support  with  their  last  farthing 
aspiring  politicians,  only  to  find  themselves  betrayed 
and  cheated. 


It  may  be  claimed  that  men  of  integrity 
■would  not  become  corrupt  in  the  political  grinding 
rrall.  Perhaps  not;  but  such  m^en  would  be  abso- 
lutely helpless  to  exert  the  slightest  influence  in 
behalf  of  labor,  as  indeed  has  been  shown  in  nu- 
merous instances.  The  State  is  the  economic  mas- 
ter of  its  servants.  Good  men.  if  such  there  be. 
would  either  remain  true  to  their  political  faith  and 
lose  their  economic  support,  or  they  would  cling  to 
their  economic  master  and  be  utterly  unable  to  do 
the  slightest  good.  The  political  arena  leaves  one 
no  alternative,  one  must  either  be  a  dunce  or  a 

The  political  superstition  is  still  holding  SAvay 
over  the  hearts  and  minds  of  the  masses,  but  the  true 
lovers  of  liberty  will  have  no  more  to  do  with  it. 
Instead,  they  believe  with  Stirner  that  man  has  as 
much  liberty  as  he  is  willing  to  take.  Anarchism 
therefore  stands  for  direct  action,  the  open  defiance 
of,  and  resistance  to,  all  laws  and  restrictions, 
economic,  social,  and  moral.  But  defiance  and  re- 
sistance are  illegal.  Therein  lies  the  salvation  of 
man.  Everything  illegal  necessitates  integrity,  self- 
reliance,  and  courage.  In  short,  it  calls  for  free, 
independent  spirits,  for  "men  who  are  men,  and 
who  have  a  bone  in  their  backs  which  you  cannot 
pass  your  hand  through." 

Universal  suffrage  itself  owes  its  existence  to 
direct  action.  If  not  for  the  spirit  of  rebellion,  of 
the  defiance  on  the  part  of  the  American  revolu- 
tionary fathers,  their  posterity  Avould  still  wear  the 
King's  coat.     If  not  for  the  direct  action  of  a  John 


Brown  and  his  comrades,  America  would  still  trade 
in  the  flesh  of  the  black  man.  True,  the  trade  in 
white  flesh  is  still  going  on;  but  that,  too,  will  have 
to  be  abolished  by  direct  action.  Trade-unionism, 
the  economic  arena  of  the  modern  gladiator,  owes 
its  existence  to  direct  action.  It  is  but  recently  that 
law  and  government  have  attempted  to  crush  the 
trade-union  movement,  and  condemned  the  exponents 
of  man's  right  to  organize  to  prison  as  conspirators. 
Had  they  sought  to  assert  their  cause  through 
begging,  pleading,  and  compromise,  trade-unionism 
would  today  be  a  negligible  quantity.  In  France, 
in  Spain,  in  Italy,  in  Russia,  nay  even  in  England 
(witness  the  growing  rebellion  of  English  labor 
unions),  direct,  revolutionary,  economic  action  has 
become  so  strong  a  force  in  the  battle  for  industrial 
liberty  as  to  make  the  world  realize  the  tremendous 
importance  of  labor's  power.  The  General  Strike, 
the  supreme  expression  of  the  economic  conscious- 
ness of  the  workers,  was  ridiculed  in  America  but 
a  short  time  ago.  Today  every  great  strike,  in 
order  to  win,  must  realize  the  importance  of  the 
solidaric  general  protest. 

Direct  action,  having  proven  effective  along 
economic  lines,  is  equally  potent  in  the  environment 
of  the  individual.  There  a  hundred  forces  encroach 
upon  his  being,  and  only  persistent  resistance  to  them 
will  finally  set  him  free.  Direct  action  against 
the  authority  in  the  shop,  direct  action  against  the 
authority  of  the  law,  direct  action  against  the 
invasive,  meddlesome  authority  of  our  moral  code, 
is  the  logical,  consistent  method  of  Anarchism. 


Will  it  not  lead  to  a  revolution?  Indeed,  it  will. 
No  real  social  change  has  ever  come  about  without 
a  revolution.  People  are  either  not  familiar  with 
their  history,  or  they  have  not  yet  learned  that 
revolution  is  but  thought  carried  into  action. 

Anarchism,  the  great  leaven  of  thought,  is  to- 
day permeating  every  phase  of  human  endeavor. 
Science,  art,  literature,  the  drama,  the  effort  for 
economic  betterment,  in  fact  every  individual  and 
social  opposition  to  the  existing  disorder  of  things, 
is  illumined  by  the  spiritual  light  of  Anarchism.  It 
is  the  philosophy  of  the  sovereignty  of  the  indi- 
vidual. It  is  the  theory  of  social  harmony.  It  is 
the  great,  surging,  living  truth  that  is  reconstruct- 
ing the  world,  and  that  will  usher  in  the  Dawn. 


If  I  WERE  to  give  a  summary  of  the  tendency  of 
our  times,  I  would  say,  Quantity.  The  multitude, 
the  mass  spirit,  dominates  everywhere,  destroying 
quality.  Our  entire  life — production,  politics,  and  edu- 
cation— rests  on  quantity,  on  numbers.  The  worker 
who  once  took  pride  in  the  thoroughness  and  quality 
of  his  work,  has  been  replaced  by  brainless,  incom- 
petent automatons,  who  turn  out  enormous  quantities 
of  things,  valueless  to  themselves,  and  generally  in- 
jurious to  the  rest  of  mankind.  Thus  quantity,  in- 
stead of  adding  to  life's  comforts  and  peace,  has 
merely  increased  man's  burden. 

In  politics,  naught  but  quantity  counts.  In  propor- 
tion to  its  increase,  however,  principles,  ideals,  jus- 
tice, and  uprightness  are  completely  swamped  by  the 
array  of  numbers.  In  the  struggle  for  supremacy 
the  various  political  parties  outdo  each  other  in 
trickery,  deceit,  cunning,  and  shady  machinations,  con- 
fident that  the  one  who  succeeds  is  sure  to  be  hailed 
by  the  majority  as  the  victor.  That  is  the  only 
god, — Success,  As  to  what  expense,  what  terrible 
cost  to  character,  is  of  no  moment.  We  have  not 
far  to  go  in  search  of  proof  to  verify  this  sad  fact. 


Never  before  did  the  corruption,  the  complete  rot- 
tenness of  our  government  stand  so  thoroughly  ex- 
posed ;  never  before  were  the  American  people  brought 
face  to  face  with  the  Judas  nature  of  that  political 
body,  which  has  claimed  for  years  to  be  absolutely 
beyond  reproach,  as  the  mainstay  of  our  institutions, 
the  true  protector  of  the  rights  and  liberties  of  the 

Yet  when  the  crimes  of  that  party  became  so 
brazen  that  even  the  blind  could  see  them,  it  needed 
but  to  muster  up  its  minions,  and  its  supremacy  was 
assured.  Thus  the  very  victims,  duped,  betrayed,  out- 
raged a  hundred  times,  decided,  not  against,  but  in 
favor  of  the  victor.  Bewildered,  the  few  asked  how 
could  the  majority  betray  the  traditions  of  American 
liberty?  Where  was  its  judgment,  its  reasoning  ca- 
pacity? That  is  just  it,  the  majority  cannot  reason; 
it  has  no  judgment.  Lacking  utterly  in  originality 
and  moral  courage,  the  majority  has  always  placed 
its  destiny  in  the  hands  of  others.  Incapable  of 
standing  responsibilities,  it  has  followed  its  leaders 
even  unto  destruction.  Dr.  Stockman  was  right :  "The 
most  dangerous  enemies  of  truth  and  justice  in  our 
midst  are  the  compact  majorities,  the  damned  com- 
pact majority."  Without  ambition  or  initiative,  the 
compact  mass  hates  nothing  so  much  as  innovation. 
It  has  always  opposed,  condemned,  and  hounded  the 
innovator,  the  pioneer  of  a  new  truth. 

The  oft  repeated  slogan  of  our  time  is,  among 
all  politicians,  the  Socialists  included,  that  ours  is  an 
era  of  individualism,  of  the  minority.  Only  those 
who  do  not  probe  beneath  the  surface  might  be  led 


to  entertain  this  view.  Have  not  the  few  accumu- 
lated the  wealth  of  the  world?  Are  they  not  the 
masters,  the  absolute  kings  of  the  situation?  Their 
success,  however,  is  due  not  to  individualism,  but  to 
the  inertia,  the  cravenness,  the  utter  submission  of 
the  mass.  The  latter  wants  but  to  be  dominated,  to 
be  led,  to  be  coerced.  As  to  individualism,  at  no 
time  in  human  history  did  it  have  less  chance  of 
expression,  less  opportunity  to  assert  itself  in  a 
normal,  healthy  manner. 

The  individual  educator  imbued  with  honesty  of 
purpose,  the  artist  or  writer  of  original  ideas,  the 
independent  scientist  or  explorer,  the  non-compromis- 
ing pioneers  of  social  changes  are  daily  pushed  to  the 
wall  by  men  whose  learning  and  creative  ability  have 
become  decrepit  with  age. 

Educators  of  Ferrer's  type  are  nowhere  tolerated, 
while  the  dietitians  of  predigested  food,  a  la  Pro- 
fessors Eliot  and  Butler,  are  the  successful  perpetu- 
ators  of  an  age  of  nonentities,  of  automatons.  In  the 
literary  and  dramatic  world,  the  Humphrey  Wards 
and  Clyde  Fitches  are  the  idols  of  the  mass,  while 
but  few  know  or  appreciate  the  beauty  and  genius  of 
an  Emerson,  Thoreau,  Whitman;  an  Ibsen,  a  Haupt- 
mann,  a  Butler  Yeats,  or  a  Stephen  Phillips.  They 
are  like  solitary  stars,  far  beyond  the  horizon  of 
the  multitude. 

Publishers,  theatrical  managers,  and  critics  ask  not 
for  the  quality  inherent  in  creative  art,  but  will  it  meet 
with  a  good  sale,  will  it  suit  the  palate  of  the  people  ? 
Alas,  this  palate  is  like  a  dumping  ground;  it  relishes 
anything  that  needs  no  mental  mastication.    As  a  re- 


suit,  the  mediocre,  the  ordinary,  the  commonplace 
represents  the  chief  literary  output. 

Need  I  say  that  in  art  we  are  confronted  with 
the  same  sad  facts?  One  has  but  to  inspect  our 
parks  and  thoroughfares  to  realize  the  hideousness 
and  vulgarity  of  the  art  manufacture.  Certainly,  none 
but  a  majority  taste  would  tolerate  such  an  outrage 
on  art.  False  in  conception  and  barbarous  in  execu- 
tion, the  statuary  that  infests  American  cities  has  as 
much  relation  to  true  art,  as  a  totem  to  a  Michael 
Angelo.  Yet  that  is  the  only  art  that  succeeds.  The 
true  artistic  genius,  who  will  not  cater  to  accepted 
notions,  who  exercises  originality,  and  strives  to  be 
true  to  life,  leads  an  obscure  and  wretched  existence. 
His  work  may  some  day  become  the  fad  of  the  mob, 
but  not  until  his  heart's  blood  had  been  exhausted; 
not  until  the  pathfinder  has  ceased  to  be,  and  a  throng 
of  an  idealless  and  visionless  mob  has  done  to  death 
the  heritage  of  the  master. 

It  is  said  that  the  artist  of  today  cannot  create 
because  Prometheuslike  he  is  bound  to  the  rock 
of  economic  necessity.  This,  however,  is  true  of 
art  in  all  ages.  Michael  Angelo  was  dependent  on 
his  patron  saint,  no  less  than  the  sculptor  or  painter 
of  today,  except  that  the  art  connoisseurs  of  those 
days  were  far  away  from  the  madding  crowd.  They 
felt  honored  to  be  permitted  to  worship  at  the  shrine 
of  the  master. 

The  art  protector  of  our  time  knows  but  one  cri- 
terion, one  value, — the  dollar.  He  is  not  concerned 
about  the  quality  of  any  great  work,  but  in  the  quan- 
tity of  dollars  his  purchase  implies.     Thus  the  finan- 


cier  in  Mirbeau's  Les  Affaires  sont  les  Affaires  points 
to  some  blurred  arrangement  in  colors,  saying:  "See 
how  great  it  is;  it  cost  50,000  francs."  Just  like  our 
own  parvenus.  The  fabulous  figures  paid  for  their 
great  art  discoveries  must  make  up  for  the  poverty 
of  their  taste. 

The  most  unpardonable  sin  in  society  is  inde- 
pendence of  thought.  That  this  should  be  so  terribly 
apparent  in  a  country  whose  symbol  is  democracy,  is 
very  significant  of  the  tremendous  power  of  the 

Wendell  Phillips  said  fifty  years  ago :  "In  our 
country  of  absolute  democratic  equality,  public  opin- 
ion is  not  only  omnipotent,  it  is  omnipresent.  There 
is  no  refuge  from  its  tyranny,  there  is  no  hiding  from 
its  reach,  and  the  result  is  that  if  you  take  the  old 
Greek  lantern  and  go  about  to  seek  among  a  hun- 
dred, you  will  not  find  a  single  American  who  has 
not,  or  who  does  not  fancy  at  least  he  has,  some- 
thing to  gain  or  lose  in  his  ambition,  his  social  life, 
or  business,  from  the  good  opinion  and  the  votes  of 
those  around  him.  And  the  consequence  is  that  in- 
stead of  being  a  mass  of  individuals,  each  one  fear- 
lessly blurting  out  his  own  conviction,  as  a  nation 
compared  to  other  nations  we  are  a  mass  of  cowards. 
More  than  any  other  people  we  are  afraid  of  each 
other."  Evidently  we  have  not  advanced  very  far 
from  the  condition  that  confronted  Wendell  Phillips. 

Today,  as  then,  public  opinion  is  the  omnipresent 
tyrant;  today,  as  then,  the  majority  represents  a  mass 
of  cowards,  willing  to  accept  him  who  mirrors  its 
own  soul  and  mind  poverty.     That  accounts  for  the 


unprecedented  rise  of  a  man  like  Roosevelt.  He  em- 
bodies the  very  worst  element  of  mob  psychology. 
A  politician,  he  knows  that  the  majority  cares  little 
for  ideals  or  integrity.  What  it  craves  is  display. 
It  matters  not  whether  that  be  a  dog  show,  a  prize 
fight,  the  lynching  of  a  "nigger,"  the  rounding  up 
of  some  petty  offender,  the  marriage  exposition  of 
an  heiress,  or  the  acrobatic  stunts  of  an  ex-president. 
The  more  hideous  the  mental  contortions,  the  greater 
the  delight  and  bravos  of  the  mass.  Thus,  poor  in 
ideals  and  vulgar  of  soul,  Roosevelt  continues  to  be 
the  man  of  the  hour. 

On  the  other  hand,  men  towering  high  above  such 
political  pygmies,  men  of  refinement,  of  culture,  of 
ability,  are  jeered  into  silence  as  mollycoddles.  It  is 
absurd  to  claim  that  ours  is  the  era  of  individualism. 
Ours  is  merely  a  more  poignant  repetition  of  the 
phenomenon  of  all  history:  every  effort  for  progress, 
for  enlightenment,  for  science,  for  religious,  political, 
and  economic  liberty,  emanates  from  the  minority, 
and  not  from  the  mass.  Today,  as  ever,  the  few  are 
misunderstood,  hounded,  imprisoned,  tortured,  and 

The  principle  of  brotherhood  expounded  by  the 
agitator  of  Nazareth  preserved  the  germ  of  life,  of 
truth  and  justice,  so  long  as  it  was  the  beacon  light 
of  the  few.  The  moment  the  majority  seized  upon 
it,  that  great  principle  became  a  shibboleth  and  har- 
binger of  blood  and  fire,  spreading  suffering  and 
disaster.  The  attack  on  the  omnipotence  of  Rome, 
led  by  the  colossal  figures  of  Huss,  Calvin,  and 
Luther,  was  like  a  sunrise  amid  the  darkness  of  the 


night.  But  so  soon  as  Luther  and  Calvin  turned 
politicians  and  began  catering  to  the  small  potentates, 
the  nobility,  and  the  mob  spirit,  they  jeopardized 
the  great  possibilities  of  the  Reformation.  They  won 
success  and  the  majority,  but  that  majority  proved 
no  less  cruel  and  bloodthirsty  in  the  persecution  of 
thought  and  reason  than  was  the  Catholic  monster. 
Woe  to  the  heretics,  to  the  minority,  who  would  not 
bow  to  its  dicta.  After  infinite  zeal,  endurance,  and 
sacrifice,  the  human  mind  is  at  last  free  from  the 
religious  phantom;  the  minority  has  gone  on  in  pur- 
suit of  new  conquests,  and  the  majority  is  lagging 
behind,  handicapped  by  truth  grown  false  with  age. 

Politically  the  human  race  would  still  be  in  the 
most  absolute  slavery,  were  it  not  for  the  John  Balls, 
the  Wat  Tylers,  the  Tells,  the  innumerable  individual 
giants  who  fought  inch  by  inch  against  the  power 
of  kings  and  tyrants.  But  for  individual  pioneers 
the  world  would  have  never  been  shaken  to  its  very 
roots  by  that  tremendous  wave,  the  French  Revolu- 
tion. Great  events  are  usually  preceded  by  appar- 
ently small  things.  Thus  the  eloquence  and  fire  of 
Camille  Desmoulins  was  like  the  trumpet  before 
Jericho,  razing  to  the  ground  that  emblem  of  tor- 
ture, of  abuse,  of  horror,  the  Bastille. 

Always,  at  every  period,  the  few  were  the  banner 
bearers  of  a  great  idea,  of  liberating  effort.  Not  so 
the  mass,  the  leaden  weight  of  which  does  not  let 
it  move.  The  truth  of  this  is  borne  out  in  Russia 
with  greater  force  than  elsewhere.  Thousands  of 
lives  have  already  been  consumed  by  that  bloody 
regime,  yet  the  monster  on  the  throne  is  not  appeased. 


How  is  stjch  a  thing  possible  when  ideas,  culture, 
literature,  when  the  deepest  and  finest  emotions  groan 
under  the  iron  yoke?  The  majority,  that  compact, 
immobile,  drowsy  mass,  the  Russian  peasant,  after 
a  century  of  struggle,  of  sacrifice,  of  untold  misery, 
still  believes  that  the  rope  which  strangles  "the  man 
with  the  white  hands"*  brings  luck. 

In  the  American  struggle  for  liberty,  the  majority 
was  no  less  of  a  stumbling  block.  Until  this  very 
day  the  ideas  of  Jefferson,  of  Patrick  Henry,  of 
Thomas  Paine,  are  denied  and  sold  by  their  posterity. 
The  mass  wants  none  of  them.  The  greatness  and 
courage  worshipped  in  Lincoln  have  been  forgotten 
in  the  men  who  created  the  background  for  the  pan- 
orama of  that  time.  The  true  patron  saints  of  the 
black  men  were  represented  in  that  handful  of 
fighters  in  Boston,  Lloyd  Garrison,  Wendell  Phillips, 
Thoreau,  Margaret  Fuller,  and  Theodore  Parker, 
whose  great  courage  and  sturdiness  culminated  in 
that  somber  giant  John  Brown.  Their  untiring  zeal, 
their  eloquence  and  perseverance  undermined  the 
stronghold  of  the  Southern  lords.  Lincoln  and  his 
minions  followed  only  when  abolition  had  become  a 
practical  issue,  recognized  as  such  by  all. 

About  fifty  years  ago,  a  meteorlike  idea  made  its 
appearance  on  the  social  horizon  of  the  world,  an 
idea  so  far-reaching,  so  revolutionary,  so  all-embrac- 
ing as  to  spread  terror  in  the  hearts  of  tyrants  every- 
where. On  the  other  hand,  that  idea  was  a  harbinger 
of  joy,  of  cheer,  of  hope  to  the  millions.    The  pioneers 

*  The  intellectuals. 


knew  the  difficulties  in  their  way,  they  knew  the 
opposition,  the  persecution,  the  hardships  that  would 
meet  them,  but  proud  and  unafraid  they  started  on 
their  march  onward,  ever  onward.  Now  that  idea 
has  become  a  popular  slogan.  Almost  everyone  is 
a  Socialist  today:  the  rich  man,  as  well  as  his  poor 
victim;  the  upholders  of  law  and  authority,  as  well 
as  their  unfortunate  culprits ;  the  freethinker,  as  well 
as  the  perpetuator  of  religious  falsehoods;  the  fash- 
ionable lady,  as  well  as  the  shirtwaist  girl.  Why 
not?  Now  that  the  truth  of  fifty  years  ago  has  be- 
come a  lie,  now  that  it  has  been  clipped  of  all  its 
youthful  imagination,  and  been  robbed  of  its  vigor, 
its  strength,  its  revolutionary  ideal — why  not?  Now 
that  it  is  no  longer  a  beautiful  vision,  but  a  "practical, 
workable  scheme,"  resting  on  the  will  of  the  majority, 
why  not?  Political  cunning  ever  sings  the  praise  of 
the  mass :  the  poor  majority,  the  outraged,  the  abused, 
the  giant  majority,  if  only  it  would  follow  us. 

Who  has  not  heard  this  litany  before?  Who  does 
not  know  this  never-varying  refrain  of  all  politicians? 
That  the  mass  bleeds,  that  it  is  being  robbed  and 
exploited,  I  know  as  weJl  as  our  vote-baiters.  But 
I  insist  that  not  the  handful  of  parasites,  but  the 
mass  itself  is  responsible  for  this  horrible  state  of 
affairs.  It  clings  to  its  masters,  loves  the  whip,  and 
is  the  first  to  cry  Crucify!  the  moment  a  protesting 
voice  is  raised  against  the  sacredness  of  capitalistic 
authority  or  any  other  decayed  institution.  Yet  how 
long  would  authority  and  private  property  exist,  if 
not  for  the  willingness  of  the  mass  to  become  soldiers, 
policemen,  jailers,  and  hangmen.    The  Socialist  dema- 


gogues  know  that  as  well  as  I,  but  they  maintain 
the  myth  of  the  virtues  of  the  majority,  because  their 
very  scheme  of  life  means  the  perpetuation  of  power. 
And  how  could  the  latter  be  acquired  without  num- 
bers ?  Yes,  authority,  coercion,  and  dependence  rest  on 
the  mass,  but  never  freedom  or  the  free  unfoldment 
of  the  individual,  never  the  birth  of  a  free  society. 

Not  because,  I  do  not  feel  with  the  oppressed,  the 
disinherited  of  the  earth ;  not  because  I  do  not  know 
the  shame,  the  horror,  the  indignity  of  the  lives  the 
people  lead,  do  I  repudiate  the  majority  as  a  creative 
force  for  good.  Oh,  no,  no !  But  because  I  know 
so  well  that  as  a  compact  mass  it  has  never  stood 
for  justice  or  equality.  It  has  suppressed  the  human 
voice,  subdued  the  human  spirit,  chained  the  human 
body.  As  a  mass  its  aim  has  always  been  to  make 
life  uniform,  gray,  and  monotonous  as  the  desert. 
As  a  mass  it  will  always  be  the  annihilator  of  indi- 
viduality, of  free  initiative,  of  originality.  I  there- 
fore believe  with  Emerson  that  "the  masses  are  crude, 
lame,  pernicious  in  their  demands  and  influence,  and 
need  not  to  be  flattered,  but  to  be  schooled.  I  wish 
not  to  concede  anything  to  them,  but  to  drill,  divide, 
and  break  them  up,  and  draw  individuals  out  of  them. 
Masses !  The  calamity  are  the  masses.  I  do  not  wish 
any  mass  at  all,  but  honest  men  only,  lovely,  sweet, 
accomplished  women  only." 

In  other  words,  the  living,  vital  truth  of  social 
and  economic  well-being  will  become  a  reality  only 
through  the  zeal,  courage,  the  non-compromising  de- 
termination of  intelligent  minorities,  and  not  through 
the  mass. 


To  ANALYZE  the  psychology  of  political  violence  is 
not  only  extremely  difficult,  but  also  very  dangerous. 
If  such  acts  are  treated  with  understanding,  one  is 
immediately  accused  of  eulogizing  them.  If,  on  the 
other  hand,  human  sympathy  is  expressed  with  the 
Attentdter*  one  risks  being  considered  a  possible 
accomplice.  Yet  it  is  only  intelligence  and  sympathy 
that  can  bring  us  closer  to  the  source  of  human  suf- 
fering, and  teach  us  the  ultimate  way  out  of  it. 

The  primitive  man,  ignorant  of  natural  forces, 
dreaded  their  approach,  hiding  from  the  perils  they 
threatened.  As  man  learned  to  understand  Nature's 
phenomena,  he  realized  that  though  these  may  destroy 
life  and  cause  great  loss,  they  also  bring  relief.  To 
the  earnest  student  it  must  be  apparent  that  the 
accumulated  forces  in  our  social  and  economic  life, 
culminating  in  a  political  act  of  violence,  are  similar 
to  the  terrors  of  the  atmosphere,  manifested  in  storm 
and  lightning^ 

To  thoroughly  appreciate  the  truth  of  this  view, 
one  must  feel  intensely  the  indignity  of  our  social 

*A  revolutionist  committing  an  act  of  political  violence. 


wrongs;  one's  very  being  must  throb  with  the  pain, 
the  sorrow,  the  despair  millions  of  people  are  daily 
made  to  endure.  Indeed,  unless  we  have  become  a 
part  of  humanity,  we  cannot  even  faintly  understand 
the  just  indignation  that  accumulates  in  a  human  soul, 
the  burning,  surging  passion  that  makes  the  storm 

The  ignorant  mass  looks  upon  the  man  who  makes 
a  violent  protest  against  our  social  and  economic 
iniquities  as  upon  a  wild  beast,  a  cruel,  heartless 
monster,  whose  joy  it  is  to  destroy  life  and  bathe  in 
blood;  or  at  best,  as  upon  an  irresponsible  lunatic. 
Yet  nothing  is  further  from  the  truth.  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  those  who  have  studied  the  character  and 
personality  of  these  men,  or  who  have  come  in  close 
contact  with  them,  are  agreed  that  it  is  their  super- 
sensitiveness  to  the  wrong  and  injustice  surrounding 
them  which  compels  them  to  pay  the  toll  of  our  social 
crimes.  The  most  noted  writers  and  poets,  discussing 
the  psychology  of  political  offenders,  have  paid  them 
the  highest  tribute.  Could  anyone  assume  that  these 
men  had  advised  violence,  or  even  approved  of  the 
acts?  Certainly  not.  Theirs  was  the  attitude  of  the 
social  student,  of  the  man  who  knows  that  beyond 
every  violent  act  there  is  a  vital  cause. 

Bjornstjerne  Bjornson,  in  the  second  part  of 
Beyond  Human  Power,  emphasizes  the  fact  that  it  is 
among  the  Anarchists  that  we  must  look  for  the 
modern  martyrs  who  pay  for  their  faith  with  their 
blood,  and  who  welcome  death  with  a  smile,  because 
they  believe,  as  truly  as  Christ  did,  that  their  martyr- 
dom will  redeem  humanity. 


Francois  Coppe,  the  French  novelist,  thus  ex- 
presses himself  regarding  the  psychology  of  the 

"The  reading  of  the  details  of  Vaillant's  execution 
left  me  in  a  thoughtful  mood.  I  imagined  him 
expanding  his  chest  under  the  ropes,  marching  with 
firm  step,  stiffening  his  will,  concentrating  all  his 
energy,  and,  with  eyes  fixed  upon  the  knife,  hurling 
finally  at  society  his  cry  of  malediction.  And,  in  spite 
of  me,  another  spectacle  rose  suddenly  before  my 
mind.  I  saw  a  group  of  men  and  women  pressing 
against  each  other  in  the  middle  of  the  oblong  arena 
of  the  circus,  under  the  gaze  of  thousands  of  eyes, 
while  from  all  the  steps  of  the  immense  amphitheatre 
went  up  the  terrible  cry,  Ad  leones!  and,  below,  the 
opening  cages  of  the  wild  beasts. 

"I  did  not  believe  the  execution  would  take  place. 
In  the  first  place,  no  victim  had  been  struck  with 
death,  and  it  had  long  been  the  custom  not  to  punish 
an  abortive  crime  with  the  last  degree  of  severity. 
Then,  this  crime,  however  terrible  in  intention,  was 
disinterested,  born  of  an  abstract  idea.  The  man's 
past,  his  abandoned  childhood,  his  life  of  hardship, 
pleaded  also  in  his  favor.  In  the  independent  press 
generous  voices  were  raised  in  his  behalf,  very 
loud  and  eloquent.  'A  purely  literary  current  of 
opinion'  some  have  said,  with  no  little  scorn.  It  is, 
on  the  contrary,  an  honor  to  the  men  of  art  and 
thought  to  have  expressed  once  more  their  disgust  at 
the  scaffold." 

Again  Zola,  in  Germinal  and  Paris,  describes  the 
tenderness    and    kindness,    the    deep    sympathy    with 


human  suffering,  of  these  men  who  close  the  chapter 
of  their  hves  with  a  violent  outbreak  against  our 

Last,  but  not  least,  the  man  who  probably  better 
than  anyone  else  understands  the  psychology  of  the 
Attentdter  is  M.  Hamon,  the  author  of  the  brilliant 
work  Une  Psychologie  du  Militavre  Professionnel, 
who  has  arrived  at  these  suggestive  conclusions: 

"The  positive  method  confirmed  by  the  rational 
method  enables  us  to  establish  an  ideal  type  of 
Anarchist,  whose  mentality  is  the  aggregate  of  com- 
mon psychic  characteristics.  Every  Anarchist  par- 
takes sufficiently  of  this  ideal  type  to  make  it  possible 
to  differentiate  him  from  other  men.  The  typical 
Anarchist,  then,  may  be  defined  as  follows :  A  man 
perceptible  by  the  spirit  of  revolt  under  one  or  more 
of  its  forms, — opposition,  investigation,  criticism, 
innovation, — endowed  with  a  strong  love  of  liberty, 
egoistic  or  individualistic,  and  possessed  of  great  curi- 
osity, a  keen  desire  to  know.  These  traits  are  sup- 
plemented by  an  ardent  love  of  others,  a  highly 
developed  moral  sensitiveness,  a  profound  sentiment 
of  justice,  and  imbued  with  missionary  zeal." 

To  the  above  characteristics,  says  Alvin  F.  San- 
born, must  be  added  these  sterling  qualities :  a  rare 
love  of  animals,  surpassing  sweetness  in  all  the  ordi- 
nary relations  of  life,  exceptional  sobriety  of 
demeanor,  frugality  and  regularity,  austerity,  even,  of 
living,  and  courage  beyond  compare.* 

"There  is  a  truism  that  the  man  in  the  street  seems 

*  Paris  and  the  Social  Revolution. 


always  to  forget,  when  he  is  abusing  the  Anarchists, 
or  whatever  party  happens  to  be  his  bete  noire  for  the 
moment,  as  the  cause  of  some  outrage  just  perpe- 
trated. This  indisputable  fact  is  that  homicidal  out- 
rages have,  from  time  immemorial,  been  the  reply  of 
goaded  and  desperate  classes,  and  goaded  and  desper- 
ate individuals,  to  wrongs  from  their  fellowmen, 
which  they  felt  to  be  intolerable.  Such  acts  are  the 
violent  recoil  from  violence,  whether  aggressive'  or 
repressive ;  they  are  the  last  desperate  struggle  of  out- 
raged and  exasperated  human  nature  for  breathing 
space  and  life.  And  their  cause  lies  not  in  any  special 
conviction,  but  in  the  depths  of  that  human  nature 
itself.  The  whole  course  of  history,  political  and 
social,  is  strewn  with  evidence  of  this  fact.  To  go  no 
further,  take  the  three  most  notorious  examples  of 
political  parties  goaded  into  violence  during  the  last 
fifty  years :  the  Mazzinians  in  Italy,  the  Fenians  in 
Ireland,  and  the  Terrorists  in  Russia.  Were  these 
people  Anarchists?  No.  Did  they  all  three  even 
hold  the  same  political  opinions?  No.  The  Mazzin- 
ians were  Republicans,  the  Fenians  political  separa- 
tists, the  Russians  Social  Democrats  or  Constitutional- 
ists. But  all  were  driven  by  desperate  circumstances 
into  this  terrible  form  of  revolt.  And  when  we  turn 
from  parties  to  individuals  who  have  acted  in  like 
manner,  we  stand  appalled  by  the  number  of  human 
beings  goaded  and  driven  by  sheer  desperation  into 
conduct  obviously  violently  opposed  to  their  social 

"Now  that  Anarchism  has  become  a  living  force  in 
society,  such  deeds  have  been  sometimes  committed 


by  Anarchists,  as  well  as  by  others.  For  no  new 
faith,  even  the  most  essentially  peaceable  and  humane 
the  mind  of  man  has  yet  accepted,  but  at  its  first 
coming  has  brought  upon  earth  not  peace,  but  a 
sword;  not  because  of  anything  violent  or  anti-social 
in  the  doctrine  itself;  simply  because  of  the  ferment 
any  new  and  creative  idea  excites  in  men's  minds, 
whether  they  accept  or  reject  it.  And  a  conception  of 
Anarchism,  which,  on  one  hand,  threatens  every  vested 
interest,  and,  on  the  other,  holds  out  a  vision  of  a 
free  and  noble  life  to  be  won  by  a  struggle  against 
existing  wrongs,  is  certain  to  rouse  the  fiercest  oppo- 
sition, and  bring  the  whole  repressive  force  of  ancient 
evil  into  violent  contact  with  the  tumultuous  outburst 
of  a  new  hope. 

"Under  miserable  conditions  of  life,  any  vision  of 
the  possibility  of  better  things  makes  the  present  mis- 
ery more  intolerable,  and  spurs  those  who  suffer  to 
the  most  energetic  struggles  to  improve  their  lot,  and 
if  these  struggles  only  immediately  result  in  sharper 
misery,  the  outcome  is  sheer  desperation.  In  our 
present  society,  for  instance,  an  exploited  wage 
worker,  who  catches  a  glimpse  of  what  work  and  life 
might  and  ought  to  be,  finds  the  toilsome  routine  and 
the  squalor  of  his  existence  almost  intolerable;  and 
even  when  he  has  the  resolution  and  courage  to  con- 
tinue steadily  working  his  best,  and  waiting  until 
new  ideas  have  so  permeated  society  as  to  pave  the 
way  for  better  times,  the  mere  fact  that  he  has  such 
ideas  and  tries  to  spread  them,  brings  him  into  diffi- 
culties with  his  employers.  How  many  thousands  of 
Socialists,  and  above  all  Anarchists,  have  lost  work 


and  ever,  the  chance  of  work,  solely  on  the  ground  of 
their  opinions.     It  is  only  the  specially  gifted  crafts- 
man, who,  if  he  be  a  zealous  propagandist,  can  hope 
to  retain  permanent  employment.     And  what  happens 
to   a  man  with   his   brain   working   actively   with   a 
ferment  of  new  ideas,  with  a  vision  before  his  eyes 
of  a  new  hope  dawning  for  toiling  and  agonizing  men, 
with  the  knowledge  that  his  suffering  and  that  of  his 
fellows  in  misery  is  not  caused  by  the  cruelty  of  fate, 
but  by  the  injustice  of  other  human  beings, — what 
happens  to  such  a  man  when  he  sees  those  dear  to 
him   starving,    when   he   himself   is    starved?     Some 
natures  in  such  a  plight,  and  those  by  no  means  the 
least  social  or  the  least  sensitive,  will  become  violent, 
and  will  even  feel  that  their  violence  is  social  and 
not  anti-social,  that  in  striking  when  and  how  they 
can,  they  are  striking,   not   for  themselves,  but   for 
human  nature,  outraged  and  despoiled  in  their  persons 
and  in  those  of  their  fellow  sufferers.     And  are  we, 
who  ourselves  are  not  in  this  horrible  predicament,  to 
stand  by  and  coldly  condemn  these  piteous  victims  of 
the  Furies  and  Fates  ?    Are  we  to  decry  as  miscreants 
these  human  beings  who  act  with  heroic  self-devotion, 
sacrificing  their  lives  in  protest,  where  less  social  and 
less  energetic  natures  would  lie  down  and  grovel  in 
abject  submission  to  injustice  and  wrong?     Are  we 
to  join  the  ignorant  and  brutal  outcry  which   stig- 
matizes such  men  as  monsters  of  wickedness,  gratu- 
itously running  amuck  in  a  harmonious  and  innocently 
peaceful    society?     No!     We    hate   murder   with   a 
hatred  that  may  seem  absurdly  exaggerated  to  apolo- 
gists for  Matabele  massacres,  to  callous  acquiescers 


in  hangings  and  bombardments,  but  we  decline  in  such 
cases  of  homicide,  or  attempted  homicide,  as  those  of 
which  we  are  treating,  to  be  guilty  of  the  cruel 
injustice  of  flinging  the  whole  responsibility  of  the 
deed  upon  the  immediate  perpetrator.  The  guilt  of 
these  homicides  lies  upon  every  man  and  woman  who, 
intentionally  or  by  cold  indifference,  helps  to  keep  up 
social  conditions  that  drive  human  beings  to  despair. 
The  man  who  flings  his  whole  life  into  the  attempt,  at 
the  cost  of  his  own  life,  to  protest  against  the  wrongs 
of  his  fellow  men,  is  a  saint  compared  to  the  active 
and  passive  upholders  of  cruelty  and  injustice,  even 
if  his  protest  destroy  other  lives  besides  his  own. 
Let  him  who  is  without  sin  in  society  cast  the  first 
stone  at  such  an  one.""^ 

That  every  act  of  political  violence  should  now- 
adays be  attributed  to  Anarchists  is  not  at  all  sur- 
prising. Yet  it  is  a  fact  known  to  almost  everyone 
familiar  with  the  Anarchist  movement  that  a  great 
number  of  acts,  for  which  Anarchists  had  to  suffer, 
either  originated  with  the  capitalist  press  or  were 
instigated,  if  not  directly  perpetrated,  by  the  police. 

For  a  numiber  of  years  acts  of  violence  had  been 
committed  in  Spain,  for  which  the  Anarchists  were 
held  responsible,  hounded  like  wild  beasts,  and  thrown 
into  prison.  Later  it  was  disclosed  that  the  perpetra- 
tors of  these  acts  were  not  Anarchists,  but  members 
of  the  police  department.  The  scandal  became  so 
widespread  that  the  conservative  Spanish  papers 
demanded  the  apprehension  and  punishment  of  the 

*  From    a    pamphlet    issued    by    the    Freedom    Group   of 


gang-leader,  Juan  Rull,  who  was  subsequently  con- 
demned to  death  and  executed.  The  sensational  evi- 
dence, brought  to  light  during  the  trial,  forced  Police 
Inspector  Momento  to  exonerate  completely  the 
Anarchists  from  any  connection  with  the  acts  com- 
mitted during  a  long  period.  This  resulted  in  the 
dismissal  of  a  number  of  police  officials,  among  them 
Inspector  Tressols,  who,  in  revenge,  disclosed  the  fact 
that  behind  the  gang  of  police  bomb  throwers  were 
others  of  far  higher  position,  who  provided  them  with 
funds  and  protected  them. 

This  is  one  of  the  many  striking  examples  of  how 
Anarchist  conspiracies  are  manufactured. 

That  the  American  police  can  perjure  themselves 
v/ith  the  same  ease,  that  they  are  just  as  merciless, 
just  as  brutal  and  cunning  as  their  European  col- 
leagues, has  been  proven  on  more  than  one  occasion. 
We  need  only  recall  the  tragedy  of  the  eleventh  of 
November,  1887,  known  as  the  Haymarket  Riot. 

No  one  who  is  at  all  familiar  with  the  case  can 
possibly  doubt  that  the  Anarchists,  judicially  mur- 
dered in  Chicago,  died  as  victims  of  a  lying,  blood- 
thirsty press  and  of  a  cruel  police  conspiracy.  Has 
not  Judge  Gary  himself  said :  "Not  because  you  have 
caused  the  Haymarket  bomb,  but  because  you  are 
Anarchists,  you  are  on  trial." 

The  impartial  and  thorough  analysis  by  Governor 
Altgeld  of  that  blotch  on  the  American  escutcheon 
verified  the  brutal  frankness  of  Judge  Gary.  It  was 
this  that  induced  Altgeld  to  pardon  the  three  Anarch- 
ists, thereby  earning  the  lasting  esteem  of  every 
liberty-loving  man  and  woman  in  the  world. 


When  we  approach  the  tragedy  of  September 
sixth,  1901,  we  are  confronted  by  one  of  the  most 
striking  examples  of  how  little  social  theories  are 
responsible  for  an  act  of  political  violence.  "Leon 
Czolgosz,  an  Anarchist,  incited  to  commit  the  act  by 
Emma  Goldman."  To  be  sure,  has  she  not  incited 
violence  even  before  her  birth,  and  will  she  not  con- 
tinue to  do  so  beyond  death?  Everything  is  possible 
with  the  Anarchists. 

Today,  even,  nine  years  after  the  tragedy,  after 
it  was  proven  a  hundred  times  that  Emma  Goldman 
had  nothing  to  do  with  the  event,  that  no  evidence 
whatsoever  exists  to  indicate  that  Czolgosz  ever  called 
himself  an  Anarchist,  we  are  confronted  with  the 
same  lie,  fabricated  by  the  police  and  perpetuated  by 
the  press.  No  living  soul  ever  heard  Czolgosz  make 
that  statem^ent,  nor  is  there  a  single  written  word  to 
prove  that  the  boy  ever  breathed  the  accusation. 
Nothing  but  ignorance  and  insane  hysteria,  which 
have  never  yet  been  able  to  solve  the  simplest  problem 
of  cause  and  effect. 

The  President  of  a  free  Republic  killed!  What 
else  can  be  the  cause,  except  that  the  Attentdter  must, 
have  been  insane,  or  that  he  was  incited  to  the  act. 

A  free  Republic!  How  a  myth  will  maintain 
itself,  how  it  will  continue  to  deceive,  to  dupe,  and 
blind  even  the  comparatively  intelligent  to  its 
monstrous  absurdities.  A  free  Republic!  And  yet 
within  a  little  over  thirty  years  a  small  band  of  par- 
asites have  successfully  robbed  the  American  people, 
and  trampled  upon  the  fundamental  principles,  laid 
down  by  the  fathers  of  this  country,  guaranteeing  to 


every  man,  woman,  and  child  "life,  liberty,  and  the 
pursuit  of  happiness."  For  thirty  years  they  have 
been  increasing  their  wealth  and  power  at  the  expense 
of  the  vast  mass  of  workers,  thereby  enlarging  the 
army  of  the  unemployed,  the  hungry,  homeless,  and 
friendless  portion  of  humanity,  who  are  tramping  the 
country  from  east  to  west,  from  north  to  south,  in  a 
vain  search  for  work.  For  many  years  the  home  has 
been  left  to  the  care  of  the  little  ones,  while  the 
parents  are  exhausting  their  life  and  strength  for  a 
mere  pittance.  For  thirty  years  the  sturdy  sons  of 
America  have  been  sacrificed  on  the  battlefield  of 
industrial  war,  and  the  daughters  outraged  in  corrupt 
factory  surroundings.  For  long  and  weary  years  this 
process  of  undermining  the  nation's  health,  vigor,  and 
pride,  without  much  protest  from  the  disinherited  and 
oppressed,  has  been  going  on.  Maddened  by  success 
and  victory,  the  money  povv'ers  of  this  "free  land  of 
ours"  became  more  and  more  audacious  in  their  heart- 
less, cruel  efforts  to  compete  with  the  rotten  and 
decayed  European  tyrannies  for  supremacy  of  power. 
In  vain  did  a  lying  press  repudiate  Leon  Czolgosz 
as  a  foreigner.  The  boy  was  a  product  of  our  own 
free  American  soil,  that  lulled  him  to  sleep  with, 

My  countrj',  'tis  of  thee, 
Sweet  land  of  liberty. 

Who  can  tell  how  many  times  this  American  child 
had  gloried  in  the  celebration  of  the  Fourth  of  July, 
or  of  Decoration  Day,  when  he  faithfully  honored 
the  Nation's  dead?  Who  knows  but  that  he,  too, 
was  willing  to  "fight  for  his  country  and  die  for  her 
liberty,"    until    it    dawned   upon    him   that  those   he 


belonged  to  have  no  country,  because  they  have  been 
robbed  of  all  that  they  have  produced;  until  he  real- 
ized that  the  liberty  and  independence  of  his  youthful 
dreams  were  but  a  farce.  Poor  Leon  Czolgosz,  your 
crime  consisted  of  too  sensitive  a  social  consciousness. 
Unlike  your  idealless  and  brainless  American  brothers, 
your  ideals  soared  above  the  belly  and  the  bank 
account.  No  wonder  you  impressed  the  one  human 
being  among  all  the  infuriated  mob  at  your  trial — 
a  newspaper  woman — as  a  visionary,  totally  oblivious 
to  your  surroundings.  Your  large,  dreamy  eyes  must 
have  beheld  a  new  and  glorious  dawn. 

Now,  to  a  recent  instance  of  police-manufactured 
Anarchist  plots.  In  that  bloodstained  city  Chicago, 
the  life  of  Chief  of  Police  Shippy  was  attempted  by 
a  young  man  named  Averbuch.  Immediately  the  cry 
was  sent  to  the  four  corners  of  the  world  that  Aver- 
buch was  an  Anarchist,  and  that  the  Anarchists  were 
responsible  for  the  act.  Everyone  who  was  at  all 
known  to  entertain  Anarchist  ideas  was  closely 
watched,  a  number  of  people  arrested,  the  library  of 
an  Anarchist  group  confiscated,  and  all  meetings  made 
impossible.  It  goes  without  saying  that,  as  on  various 
previous  occasions,  I  must  needs  be  held  responsible 
for  the  act.  Evidently  the  American  police  credit  me 
with  occult  powers.  I  did  not  know  Averbuch;  in 
fact,  had  never  before  heard  his  name,  and  the  only 
way  I  could  have  possibly  "conspired"  with  him  was 
in  my  astral  body.  But,  then,  the  police  are  not 
concerned  with  logic  or  justice.  What  they  seek  is 
a  target,  to  mask  their  absolute  ignorance  of  the  cause, 
of  the  psychology  of  a  political  act.     Was  Averbuch 


an  Anarchist?  There  is  no  positive  proof  of  it.  He 
had  been  but  three  months  in  the  country,  did  not 
know  the  language,  and,  as  far  as  I  could  ascertain, 
was  quite  unknown  to  the  Anarchists  of  Chicago. 

What  led  to  his  act?  Averbuch,  like  most  young 
Russian  immigrants,  undoubtedly  believed  in  the 
mythical  liberty  of  America.  He  received  his  first 
baptism  by  the  policeman's  club  during  the  brutal 
dispersement  of  the  unemployed  parade.  He  further 
experienced  American  equality  and  opportunity  in  the 
vain  efforts  to  find  an  economic  master.  In  short,  a 
three  months'  sojourn  in  the  glorious  land  brought 
him  face  to  face  with  the  fact  that  the  disinherited  are 
in  the  same  position  the  world  over.  In  his  native 
land  he  probably  learned  that  necessity  knows  no  law 
— there  was  no  difference  between  a  Russian  and  an 
American  policeman. 

The  question  to  the  intelligent  social  student  is 
not  whether  the  acts  of  Czolgosz  or  Averbuch  were 
practical,  any  more  than  whether  the  thunderstorm  is 
practical.  The  thing  that  will  inevitably  impress 
itself  on  the  thinking  and  feeling  man  and  woman  is 
that  the  sight  of  brutal  clubbing  of  innocent  victims 
in  a  so-called  free  Republic,  and  the  degrading,  soul- 
destroying  economic  struggle,  furnish  the  spark  that 
kindles  the  dynamic  force  in  the  overwrought,  out- 
raged souls  of  men  like  Czolgosz  or  Averbuch.  No 
amount  of  persecution,  of  hounding,  of  repression, 
can  stay  this  social  phenomenon. 

But,  it  is  often  asked,  have  not  acknowledged 
Anarchists  committed  acts  of  violence?  Certainly 
they   have,    always   however   ready   to   shoulder   the 


responsibility.  My  contention  is  that  they  were 
impelled,  not  by  the  teachings  of  Anarchism,  but  by 
the  tremendous  pressure  of  conditions,  making  life 
unbearable  to  their  sensitive  natures.  Obviously, 
Anarchism,  or  any  other  social  theory,  making  man  a 
conscious  social  unit,  will  act  as  a  leaven  for  rebellion. 
This  is  not  a  mere  assertion,  but  a  fact  verified  by  all 
experience.  A  close  examination  of  the  circum- 
stances bearing  upon  this  question  will  further  clarify 
my  position. 

Let  us  consider  some  of  the  most  important 
Anarchist  acts  within  the  last  two  decades.  Strange 
as  it  may  seem,  one  of  the  most  significant  deeds  of 
political  violence  occurred  here  in  America,  in  con- 
nection with  the  Homestead  strike  of  1892. 

During  that  memorable  time  the  Carnegie  Steel 
Company  organized  a  conspiracy  to  crush  the  Amal- 
gamated Association  of  Iron  and  Steel  Workers. 
Henry  Clay  Frick,  then  Chairman  of  the  Company, 
was  intrusted  with  that  democratic  task.  He  lost  no 
time  in  carrying  out  the  policy  of  breaking  the  Union, 
the  policy  which  he  had  so  successfully  practiced  dur- 
ing his  rejgn  of  terror  in  the  coke  regions.  Secretly, 
and  while  peace  negotiations  were  being  purposely 
prolonged,  Frick  supervised  the  military  preparations, 
the  fortification  of  the  Homestead  Steel  Works,  the 
erection  of  a  high  board  fence,  capped  with  barbed 
wire  and  provided  with  loopholes  for  sharpshooters. 
And  then,  in  the  dead  of  night,  he  attempted  to 
smuggle  his  army  of  hired  Pinkerton  thugs  into 
Homestead,  which  act  precipitated  the  terrible  carnage 
of  the  steel  workers.     Not  content  with  the  death  of 


eleven  victims,  killed  in  the  Pinkerton  skirmish,  Henry 
Clay  Frick,  good  Christian  and  free  American, 
straightway  began  the  hounding  down  of  the  helpless 
wives  and  orphans,  by  ordering  them  out  of  the 
wretched  Company  houses. 

The  whole  country  was  aroused  over  these  inhu- 
man outrages.  Hundreds  of  voices  were  raised  in 
protest,  calling  on  Frick  to  desist,  not  to  go  too  far. 
Yes,  hundreds  of  people  protested, — as  one  objects 
to  annoying  flies.  Only  one  there  was  who  actively 
responded  to  the  outrage  at  Homestead, — Alexander 
Berkman.  Yes,  he  was  an  Anarchist.  He  gloried  in 
that  fact,  because  it  was  the  only  force  that  made 
the  discord  between  his  spiritual  longing  and  the 
world  without  at  all  bearable.  Yet  not  Anarchism, 
as  such,  but  the  brutal  slaughter  of  the  eleven  steel 
workers  was  the  urge  for  Alexander  Berkman's  act, 
his  attempt  on  the  life  of  Henry  Clay  Frick. 

The  record  of  European  acts  of  political  violence 
affords  numerous  and  striking  instances  of  the  in- 
fluence of  environment  upon  sensitive  human  beings. 

The  court  speech  of  Vaillant,  who,  in  1894,  ex- 
ploded a  bomb  in  the  Paris  Chamber  of  Deputies, 
strikes  the  true  keynote  of  the  psychology  of  such 

"Gentlemen,  in  a  few  minutes  you  are  to  deal 
your  blow,  but  in  receiving  your  verdict  I  shall  have 
at  least  the  satisfaction  of  having  wounded  the  exist- 
ing society,  that  cursed  society  in  which  one  may  see 
a  single  man  spending,  uselessly,  enough  to  feed  thou- 
sands of  families;  an  infamous  society  which  permits 


a  few  individuals  to  monopolize  all  the  social  wealth, 
while  there  are  hundreds  of  thousands  of  unfor- 
tunates who  have  not  even  the  bread  that  is  not 
refused  to  dogs,  and  while  entire  families,  are  com- 
mitting suicide  for  want  of  the  necessities  of  life. 

"Ah,  gentlemen,  if  the  governing  classes  could  go 
down  among  the  unfortunates !  But  no,  they  prefer 
to  remain  deaf  to  their  appeals.  It  seems  that  a 
fatality  impels  them,  like  the  royalty  of  the  eighteenth 
century,  toward  the  precipice  which  will  engulf  them, 
for  woe  be  to  those  who  remain  deaf  to  the  cries 
of  the  starving,  woe  to  those  who,  believing  them- 
selves of  superior  essence,  assume  the  right  to  exploit 
those  beneath  them !  There  comes  a  time  when  the 
people  no  longer  reason;  they  rise  like  a  hurricane, 
and  pass  away  like  a  torrent.  Then  we  see  bleeding 
heads  impaled  on  pikes. 

"Among  the  exploited,  gentlemen,  there  are  two 
classes  of  individuals.  Those  of  one  class,  not  real- 
izing what  they  are  and  what  they  might  be,  take  life 
as  it  comes,  believe  that  they  are  born  to  be  slaves, 
and  content  themselves  with  the  little  that  is  given 
them  in  exchange  for  their  labor.  But  there  are 
others,  on  the  contrary,  who  think,  who  study,  and 
who,  looking  about  them,  discover  social  iniquities. 
Is  it  their  fault  if  they  see  clearly  and  suffer  at  seeing 
others  suffer?  Then  they  throw  themselves  into  the 
struggle,  and  make  themselves  the  bearers  of  the 
popular  claims. 

"Gentlemen,  I  am  one  of  these  last.  Wherever  I 
have  gone,  I  have  seen  unfortunates  bent  beneath  the 
yoke  of  capital.     Everywhere  I  have  seen  the  same 


wounds  causing  tears  of  blood  to  flow,  even  in  the 
remoter  parts  of  the  inhabited  districts  of  South 
America,  where  I  had  the  right  to  beHeve  that  he 
who  was  weary  of  the  pains  of  civiHzation  might 
rest  in  the  shade  of  the  palm  trees  and  there  study 
nature.  Well,  there  even,  more  than  elsewhere,  I 
have  seen  capital  come,  like  a  vampire,  to  suck  the 
last  drop  of  blood  of  the  unfortunate  pariahs. 

"Then  I  came  back  to  France,  where  it  was  re- 
served for  me  to  see  my  family  suffer  atrociously. 
This  was  the  last  drop  in  the  cup  of  my  sorrow. 
Tired  of  leading  this  life  of  suffering  and  cow- 
ardice, I  carried  this  bomb  to  those  who  are  primarily 
responsible  for  social  misery. 

"1  am  reproached  with  the  wounds  of  those  who 
were  hit  by  my  projectiles.  Permit  me  to  point  out 
in  passing  that,  if  the  bourgeois  had  not  massacred 
or  caused  massacres  during  the  Revolution,  it  is 
probable  that  they  would  still  be  under  the  yoke  of 
the  nobility.  On  the  other  hand,  figure  up  the  dead 
and  wounded  of  Tonquin,  Madagascar,  Dahomey, 
adding  thereto  the  thousands,  yes,  millions  of  un- 
fortunates who  die  in  the  factories,  the  mines,  and 
wherever  the  grinding  power  of  capital  is  felt.  Add 
also  those  who  die  of  hunger,  and  all  this  with  the 
assent  of  our  Deputies.  Beside  all  this,  of  how  little 
weight  are  the  reproaches  now  brought  against  me! 

"It  is  true  that  one  does  not  efface  the  other;  but, 
after  all,  are  we  not  acting  on  the  defensive  when 
we  respond  to  the  blows  which  we  receive  from 
above?  I  know  very  well  that  I  shall  be  told  that  I 
ought   to   have    confined   myself   to    speech    for   the 


vindication  of  the  people's  claims.  But  what  can 
you  expect!  It  takes  a  loud  voice  to  make  the  deaf 
hear.  Too  long  have  they  answered  our  voices  by 
imprisonment,  the  rope,  rifle  volleys.  Make  no  mis- 
take; the  explosion  of  my  bomb  is  not  only  the  cry 
of  the  rebel  Vaillant,  but  the  cry  of  an  entire  class 
which  vindicates  its  rights,  and  which  will  soon  add 
acts  to  words.  For,  be  sure  of  it,  in  vain  will  they 
pass  laws.  The  ideas  of  the  thinkers  will  not  halt; 
just  as,  in  the  last  century,  all  the  governmental 
forces  could  not  prevent  the  Diderots  and  the  Vol- 
taires  from  spreading  emancipating  ideas  among  the 
people,  so  all  the  existing  governmental  forces  will 
not  prevent  the  Reclus,  the  Darwins,  the  Spencers, 
the  Ibsens,  the  Mirbeaus,  from  spreading  the  ideas 
of  justice  and  liberty  which  will  annihilate  the  preju- 
dices that  hold  the  mass  in  ignorance.  And  these 
ideas,  welcomed  by  the  unfortunate,  will  flower  in 
acts  of  revolt  as  they  have  done  in  me,  until  the  day 
when  the  disappearance  of  authority  shall  permit  all 
men  to  organize  freely  according  to  their  choice, 
when  everyone  shall  be  able  to  enjoy  the  product  of 
his  labor,  and  when  those  moral  maladies  called 
prejudices  shall  vanish,  permitting  human  beings  to 
live  in  harmony,  having  no  other  desire  than  to  study 
the  sciences  and  love  their   fellows. 

"I  conclude,  gentlemen,  by  saying  that  a  society  in 
which  one  sees  such  social  inequalities  as  we  see  all 
about  us,  in  which  we  see  every  day  suicides  caused 
by  poverty,  prostitution  flaring  at  every  street  corner, 
— a  society  whose  principal  monuments  are  barracks 
and  prisons, — such  a  society  must  be  transformed  as 


soon  as  possible,  on  pain  of  being  eliminated,  and 
that  speedily,  from  the  human  race.  Hail  to  him 
who  labors,  by  no  matter  what  means,  for  this  trans- 
formation! It  is  this  idea  that  has  guided  me  in 
my  duel  with  authority,  but  as  in  this  duel  I  have 
only  wounded  my  adversary,  it  is  now  its  turn  to 
strike  me. 

"Now,  gentlemen,  to  me  it  matters  little  what  pen- 
alty you  may  inflict,  for,  looking  at  this  assembly 
with  the  eyes  of  reason,  I  can  not  help  smiling  to 
see  you,  atoms  lost  in  matter,  and  reasoning  only 
because  you  possess  a  prolongation  of  the  spinal 
marrow,  assume  the  right  to  judge  one  of  your 

"Ah !  gentlemen,  how  little  a  thing  is  your  assem- 
bly and  your  verdict  in  the  history  of  humanity;  and 
human  history,  in  its  turn,  is  likewise  a  very  little 
thing  in  the  whirlwind  which  bears  it  through  im- 
mensity, and  which  is  destined  to  disappear,  or  at 
least  to  be  transformed,  in  order  to  begin  again  the 
same  history  and  the  same  facts,  a  veritably  per- 
petual play  of  cosmic  forces  renewing  and  trans- 
ferring themselves  forever." 

Will  anyone  say  that  Vaillant  was  an  ignorant, 
vicious  man,  or  a  lunatic?  Was  not  his  mind  singu- 
larly clear  and  analytic?  No  wonder  that  the  best 
intellectual  forces  of  France  spoke  in  his  behalf,  and 
signed  the  petition  to  President  Carnot,  asking  him 
to  commute  Vaillant's  death   sentence. 

Carnot  would  listen  to  no  entreaty;  he  insisted 
on  more  than  a  pound  of  flesh,  he  wanted  Vaillant's 
life,  and    then — the   inevitable    happened:    President 


Carnot   was   killed.      On   the   handle   of   the   stiletto 
used  by  the  Attentat er  was   engraved,   significantly, 


Santa  Caserio  was  an  Anarchist.  He  could  have 
gotten  away,  saved  himself;  but  he  remained,  he 
stood  the  consequences. 

His  reasons  for  the  act  are  set  forth  in  so  simple, 
dignified,  and  childlike  manner  that  one  is  reminded 
of  the  touching  tribute  paid  Caserio  by  his  teacher 
of  the  little  village  school,  Ada  Negri,  the  Italian 
poet,  who  spoke  of  him  as  a  sweet,  tender  plant, 
of  too  fine  and  sensitive  texture  to  stand  the  cruel 
strain  of  the  world. 

"Gentlemen  of  the  Jury!  I  do  not  propose  to 
make  a  defense,  but  only  an  explanation  of  my  deed. 

"Since  my  early  youth  I  began  to  learn  that  present 
society  is  badly  organized,  so  badly  that  every  day 
many  wretched  men  commit  suicide,  leaving  women 
and  children  in  the  most  terrible  distress.  Workers, 
by  thousands,  seek  for  work  and  can  not  find  it. 
Poor  families  beg  for  food  and  shiver  with  cold; 
they  suffer  the  greatest  misery;  the  little  ones  ask 
their  miserable  mothers  for  food,  and  the  mothers 
cannot  give  it  to  them,  because  they  have  nothing. 
The  few  things  which  the  home  contained  have 
already  been  sold  or  pawned.  All  they  can  do  is 
beg  alms ;  often  they  are  arrested  as  vagabonds. 

"I  went  away  from  my  native  place  because  I  was 
frequently  moved  to  tears  at  seeing  little  girls  of 
eight  or  ten  years  obliged  to  work  fifteen  hours  a 
day  for  the  paltry  pay  of  twenty  centimes.     Young 


women  of  eighteen  or  twenty  also  work  fifteen  hours 
daily,  for  a  mockery  of  remuneration.  And  that 
happens  not  only  to  my  fellow  countrymen,  but  to 
all  the  workers,  who  sweat  the  whole  day  long  for  a 
crust  of  bread,  while  their  labor  produces  wealth  in 
abundance.  The  workers  are  obliged  to  live  under 
the  most  v/retched  conditions,  and  their  food  con- 
sists of  a  little  bread,  a  few  spoonfuls  of  rice,  and 
water;  so  by  the  time  they  are  thirty  or  forty  years 
old,  they  are  exhausted,  and  go  to  die  in  the  hospitals. 
Besides,  in  consequence  of  bad  food  and  overwork, 
these  unhappy  creatures  are,  by  hundreds,  devoured 
by  pellagra — a  disease  that,  in  my  country,  attacks, 
as  the  physicians  say,  those  who  are  badly  fed  and 
lead  a  life  of  toil  and  privation. 

'T  have  observed  that  there  are  a  great  many 
people  who  are  hungry,  and  many  children  who 
suffer,  whilst  bread  and  clothes  abound  in  the  towns. 
I  saw  many  and  large  shops  full  of  clothing  and 
woolen  stuffs,  and  I  also  saw  warehouses  full  of 
wheat  and  Indian  corn,  suitable  for  those  who  are  in 
want.  And,  on  the  other  hand,  I  saw  thousands  of 
people  who  do  not  work,  who  produce  nothing  and 
live  on  the  labor  of  others ;  who  spend  every  day 
thousands  of  francs  for  their  amusement;  who  de- 
bauch the  daughters  of  the  workers ;  who  own  dwell- 
ings of  forty  or  fifty  rooms ;  twenty  or  thirty  horses, 
many  servants ;  in  a  word,  all  the  pleasures  of  life. 

"I  believed  in  God;  but  when  I  saw  so  great  an 
inequality  between  men,  I  acknowledged  that  it  was 
not  God  who  created  man,  but  man  who  created  God. 
And  I  discovered  that  those  who  want  their  property 


to  be  respected,  have  an  interest  in  preaching  the 
existence  of  paradise  and  hell,  and  in  keeping  the 
people  in  ignorance. 

"Not  long  ago,  Vaillant  threw  a  bomb  in  the 
Chamber  of  Deputies,  to  protest  against  the  present 
system  of  society.  He  killed  no  one,  only  wounded 
some  persons;  yet  bourgeois  justice  sentenced  him  to 
death.  And  not  satisfied  with  the  condemnation  of 
the  guilty  man,  they  began  to  pursue  the  Anarchists, 
and  arrest  not  only  those  who  had  known  Vaillant, 
but  even  those  who  had  merely  been  present  at  any 
Anarchist  lecture. 

"The  government  did  not  think  of  their  wives  and 
children.  It  did  not  consider  that  the  men  kept  in 
prison  were  not  the  only  ones  who  suffered,  and  that 
their  little  ones  cried  for  bread.  Bourgeois  justice 
did  not  trouble  itself  about  these  innocent  ones,  who 
do  not  yet  know  what  society  is.  It  is  no  fault  of 
theirs  that  their  fathers  are  in  prison ;  they  only  want 
to  eat. 

"The  government  went  on  searching  private  houses, 
opening  private  letters,  forbidding  lectures  and  meet- 
ings, and  practicing  the  most  infamous  oppressions 
against  us.  Even  now,  hundreds  of  Anarchists  are 
arrested  for  having  written  an  article  in  a  newspaper, 
or  for  having  expressed  an  opinion  in  public. 

"Gentlemen  of  the  Jury,  you  are  representatives  of 
bourgeois  society.  If  you  want  my  head,  take  it; 
but  do  not  believe  that  in  so  doing  you  will  stop 
the  Anarchist  propaganda.  Take  care,  for  men  reap 
what  they  have  sown." 

During  a  religious   procession   in    1896,  at   Bar- 


celona,  a  bomb  was  thrown.  Immediately  three  hun- 
dred men  and  women  were  arrested.  Some  were 
Anarchists,  but  the  majority  were  trade-unionists 
and  Socialists.  They  were  thrown  into  that  terrible 
bastille  Montjuich,  and  subjected  to  most  horrible 
tortures.  After  a  number  had  been  killed,  or  had 
gone  insane,  their  cases  were  taken  up  by  the  liberal 
press  of  Europe,  resulting  in  the  release  of  a  few 

The  man  primarily  responsible  for  this  revival  of 
the  Inquisition  was  Canovas  del  Castillo,  Prime  Min- 
ister of  Spain.  It  was  he  who  ordered  the  torturing 
of  the  victims,  their  flesh  burned,  their  bones 
crushed,  their  tongues  cut  out.  Practiced  in  the  art 
of  brutality  during  his  regime  in  Cuba,  Canovas 
remained  absolutely  deaf  to  the  appeals  and  protests 
of  the  awakened  civilized  conscience. 

In  1897  Canovas  del  Castillo  was  shot  to  death 
by  a  young  Italian,  Angiolillo.  The  latter  was  an 
editor  in  his  native  land,  and  his  bold  utterances  soon 
attracted  the  attention  of  the  authorities.  Persecu- 
tion began,  and  Angiolillo  fled  from  Italy  to  Spain, 
thence  to  France  and  Belgium,  finally  settling  in 
England.  While  there  he  found  employment  as  a 
compositor,  and  immediately  became  the  friend  of  all 
his  colleagues.  One  of  the  latter  thus  described 
Angiolillo :  "His  appearance  suggested  the  journalist 
rather  than  the  disciple  of  Guttenberg.  His  delicate 
hands,  moreover,  betrayed  the  fact  that  he  had  not 
grown  up  at  the  'case.'  With  his  handsome  frank 
face,  his  soft  dark  hair,  his  alert  expression,  he 
looked  the  very  type  of  the  vivacious   Southerner. 


Angiolillo  spoke  Italian,  Spanish,  and  French,  but 
no  English;  the  little  French  I  knew  was  not  suffi- 
cient to  carry  on  a  prolonged  conversation.  How- 
ever, Angiolillo  soon  began  to  acquire  the  English 
idiom;  he  learned  rapidly,  playfully,  and  it  was  not 
long  until  he  became  very  popular  with  his  fellow 
compositors.  His  distinguished  and  yet  modest  man- 
ner, and  his  consideration  towards  his  colleagues, 
won  him  the  hearts  of  all  the  boys." 

Angiolillo  soon  became  familiar  with  the  detailed 
accounts  in  the  press.  He  read  of  the  great  wave 
of  human  sympathy  with  the  helpless  victims  at 
Montjuich,  On  Trafalgar  Square  he  saw  with  his 
own  eyes  the  results  of  those  atrocities,  when  the 
few  Spaniards,  who  escaped  Castillo's  clutches,  came 
to  seek  asylum  in  England.  There,  at  the  great  meet- 
ing, these  men  opened  their  shirts  and  showed  the 
horrible  scars  of  burned  flesh.  Angiolillo  saw,  and 
the  effect  surpassed  a  thousand  theories ;  the  impetus 
was  beyond  words,  beyond  arguments,  beyond  him- 
self even. 

Sefior  Antonio  Canovas  del  Castillo,  Prime  Min- 
ister of  Spain,  sojourned  at  Santa  Agueda.  As  usual 
in  such  cases,  all  strangers  were  kept  away  from  his 
exalted  presence.  One  exception  was  made,  how- 
ever, in  the  case  of  a  distinguished  looking,  elegantly 
dressed  Italian — the  representative,  it  was  under- 
stood, of  an  important  journal.  The  distinguished 
gentleman  was — Angiolillo. 

Sefior  Canovas,  about  to  leave  his  house,  stepped 
on  the  veranda.  Suddenly  Angiolillo  confronted 
him.     A  shot  rang  out,  and  Canovas  was  a  corpse. 


The  wife  of  the  Prime  Minister  rushed  upon  the 
scene.  "Murderer!  Murderer!"  she  cried,  pointing 
at  Angiohllo.  The  latter  bowed.  "Pardon,  Madame," 
he  said,  "I  respect  you  as  a  lady,  but  I  regret  that 
you  were  the  wife  of  that  man." 

Calmly  Angiolillo  faced  death.  Death  in  its  most 
terrible  form — for  the  man  whose  soul  was  as  a 

He  was  garroted.  His  body  lay,  sun-kissed,  till 
the  day  hid  in  twilight.  And  the  people  came,  and 
pointing  the  finger  of  terror  and  fear,  they  said: 
"There — the   criminal — the  cruel  mmrderer." 

How  stupid,  how  cruel  is  ignorance!  It  mis- 
understands always,  condemns  always. 

A  remarkable  parallel  to  the  case  of  Angiolillo  is  to 
be  found  in  the  act  of  Gaetano  Bresci,  whose  Attentat 
upon  King  Umberto  made  an  American  city  famous. 

Bresci  came  to  this  country,  this  land  of  oppor- 
tunity, where  one  has  but  to  try  to  meet  with  golden 
success.  Yes,  he  too  would  try  to  succeed.  He 
\vould  work  hard  and  faithfully.  Work  had  no 
terrors  for  him,  if  it  would  only  help  him  to  inde- 
pendence, manhood,  self-respect. 

Thus  full  of  hope  and  enthusiasm  he  settled  in 
Paterson,  New  Jersey,  and  there  found  a  lucrative  job 
at  six  dollars  per  week  in  one  of  the  weaving  mills  of 
the  town.  Six  whole  dollars  per  week  was,  no  doubt, 
a  fortune  for  Italy,  but  not  enough  to  breathe  on  in 
the  new  country.  He  loved  his  little  home.  He  was 
a  good  husband  and  devoted  father  to  his  hamhina 
Bianca,  whom  he  adored.     He  worked  and  worked 


for  a  number  of  years.  He  actually  managed  to  save 
one  hundred  dollars  out  of  his  six  dollars  per  week. 

Bresci  had  an  ideal.  Foolish,  I  know,  for  a  work- 
ingman  to  have  an  ideal, — the  Anarchist  paper  pub- 
lished in  Paterson,  La  Questione  Sociale. 

Every  week,  though  tired  from  work,  he  would 
help  to  set  up  the  paper.  Until  late  hours  he  would 
assist,  and  when  the  little  pioneer  had  exhausted  all 
resources  and  his  comrades  were  in  despair,  Bresci 
brought  cheer  and  hope,  one  hundred  dollars,  the 
entire  savings  of  years.  That  would  keep  the  paper 

In  his  native  land  people  were  starving.  The 
crops  had  been  poor,  and  the  peasants  saw  themselves 
face  to  face  with  famine.  They  appealed  to  their 
good  King  Umberto;  he  would  help.  And  he  did. 
The  wives  of  the  peasants  who  had  gone  to  the  palace 
of  the  King,  held  up  in  mute  silence  their  emaciated 
infants.  Surely  that  would  move  him.  And  then 
the  soldiers  fired  and  killed  those  poor  fools. 

Bresci,  at  work  in  the  weaving  mill  at  Paterson, 
read  of  the  horrible  massacre.  His  mental  eye  beheld 
the  defenceless  women  and  innocent  infants  of  his 
native  land,  slaughtered  right  before  the  good  King. 
His  soul  recoiled  in  horror.  At  night  he  heard  the 
groans  of  the  wounded.  Some  may  have  been  his 
comrades,  his  own  flesh.  Why,  why  these  foul 
murders  ? 

The  little  meeting  of  the  Italian  Anarchist  group 
in  Paterson  ended  almost  in  a  fight.  Bresci  had  de- 
manded his  hundred  dollars.  His  comrades  begged, 
implored   him   to  give   them   a   respite.     The  paper 


would  go  down  if  they  were  to  return  him  his  loan. 
But  Bresci  insisted  on  its  return. 

How  cruel  and  stupid  is  ignorance.  Bresci  got 
the  money,  but  lost  the  good  will,  the  confidence  of 
his  comrades.  They  would  have  nothing  more  to  do 
with  one  whose  greed  was  greater  than  his  ideals. 

On  the  twenty-ninth  of  July,  1900,  King  Umberto 
was  shot  at  Monzo.  The  young  Italian  weaver  of 
Paterson,  Gaetano  Bresci,  had  taken  the  life  of  the 
good  King. 

Paterson  was  placed  under  police  surveillance, 
everyone  known  as  an  Anarchist  hounded  and  per- 
secuted, and  the  act  of  Bresci  ascribed  to  the  teach- 
ings of  Anarchism.  As  if  the  teachings  of  Anarch- 
ism in  its  extremest  form  could  equal  the  force  of 
those  slain  women  and  infants,  who  had  pilgrimed  to 
the  King  for  aid.  As  if  any  spoken  word,  ever  so 
eloquent,  could  burn  into  a  human  soul  with  such 
white  heat  as  the  lifeblood  trickling  drop  by  drop 
from  those  dying  forms.  The  ordinary  man  is  rarely 
moved  either  by  word  or  deed;  and  those  whose 
social  kinship  is  the  greatest  living  force  need  no 
appeal  to  respond — even  as  does  steel  to  the  magnet 
— to  the  wrongs  and  horrors  of  society. 

If  a  social  theory  is  a  strong  factor  inducing  acts 
of  political  violence,  how  are  we  to  account  for  the 
recent  violent  outbreaks  in  India,  where  Anarchism 
has  hardly  been  born.  More  than  any  other  old 
philosophy,  Hindu  teachings  have  exalted  passive 
resistance,  the  drifting  of  life,  the  Nirvana,  as  the 
highest  spiritual  ideal.  Yet  the  social  unrest  in  India 
is  daily  growing,  and  has  only  recently  resulted  in  an 


act  of  political  violence,   the   killing  of   Sir  Curzon 
Wyllie  by  the  Hindu  Madar  Sol  Dhingra. 

If  such  a  phenomenon  can  occur  in  a  country 
socially  and  individually  permeated  for  centuries  with 
the  spirit  of  passivity,  can  one  question  the  tre- 
mendous, revolutionizing  effect  on  human  character 
exerted  by  great  social  iniquities?  Can  one  doubt 
the  logic,  the  justice  of  these  words: 

"Repression,  tyranny,  and  indiscriminate  punish- 
ment of  innocent  men  have  been  the  watchwords  of 
the  government  of  the  alien  domination  in  India  ever 
since  we  began  the  commercial  boycott  of  English 
goods.  The  tiger  qualities  of  the  British  are  much 
in  evidence  now  in  India.  They  think  that  by  the 
strength  of  the  sword  they  will  keep  down  India !  It 
is  this  arrogance  that  has  brought  about  the  bomb, 
and  the  more  they  tyrannize  over  a  helpless  and  un- 
armed people,  the  more  terrorism  will  grow.  We 
may  deprecate  terrorism  as  outlandish  and  foreign  to 
our  culture,  but  it  is  inevitable  as  long  as  this  tyranny 
continues,  for  it  is  not  the  terrorists  that  are  to  be 
blamed,  but  the  tyrants  who  are  responsible  for  it. 
It  is  the  only  resource  for  a  helpless  and  unarmed 
people  when  brought  to  the  verge  of  despair.  It  is 
never  criminal  on  their  part.  The  crime  lies  with  the 

Even  conservative  scientists  are  beginning  to 
realize  that  heredity  is  not  the  sole  factor  moulding 
human  character.     Climate,    food,   occupation;   nay. 

*  The  Free  Hindustan. 


color,  light,  and  sound  must  be  considered  in  the 
study  of  human  psychology. 

If  that  be  true,  how  much  more  correct  is  the  con- 
tention that  great  social  abuses  will  and  must  in- 
fluence different  minds  and  temperaments  in  a  differ- 
ent way.  And  how  utterly  fallacious  the  stereotyped 
notion  that  the  teachings  of  Anarchism,  or  certain 
exponents  of  these  teachings,  are  responsible  for  the 
acts  of  political  violence. 

Anarchism,  more  than  any  other  social  theory, 
values  human  life  above  things.  All  Anarchists  agree 
with  Tolstoy  in  this  fundamental  truth:  if  the  pro- 
duction of  any  commodity  necessitates  the  sacrifice  of 
human  life,  society  should  do  without  that  commodity, 
but  it  can  not  do  without  that  life.  That,  however, 
nowise  indicates  that  Anarchism  teaches  submission. 
How  can  it,  when  it  knows  that  all  suffering,  all 
misery,  all  ills,  result  from  the  evil  of  submission? 

Has  not  some  American  ancestor  said,  many  years 
ago,  that  resistance  to  tyranny  is  obedience  to  God? 
And  he  was  not  an  Anarchist  even.  I  would  say  that 
resistance  to  tyranny  is  man's  highest  ideal.  So  long 
as  tyranny  exists,  in  whatever  form,  man's  deepest 
aspiration  must  resist  it  as  inevitably  as  man  must 

Compared  with  the  wholesale  violence  of  capital 
and  government,  political  acts  of  violence  are  but  a 
drop  in  the  ocean.  That  so  few  resist  is  the  strongest 
proof  how  terrible  must  be  the  conflict  between  their 
souls  and  unbearable   social   iniquities. 

High  strung,  like  a  violin  string,  they  weep  and 
moan  for  life,  so  relentless,  so  cruel,  so  terribly  in- 


human.  In  a  desperate  moment  the  string  breaks. 
Untuned  ears  hear  nothing  but  discord.  But  those 
who  feel  the  agonized  cry  understand  its  harmony; 
they  hear  in  it  the  fulfillment  of  the  most  compelling 
moment  of  human  nature. 

Such  is  the  psychology  of  political  violence. 



In  1849  Feodor  Dostoyevsky  wrote  on  the  wall  of 
his  prison  cell  the  following  story  of  The  Priest  and 
the  Devil: 

"  'Hello,  you  little  fat  father !'  the  devil  said  to 
the  priest.  'What  made  you  lie  so  to  those  poor, 
misled  people?  What  tortures  of  hell  did  you  depict? 
Don't  you  know  they  are  already  suffering  the  tor- 
tures of  hell  in  their  earthly  lives?  Don't  you  know 
that  you  and  the  authorities  of  the  State  are  my  rep- 
resentatives on  earth?  It  is  you  that  make  them 
suffer  the  pains  of  hell  with  which  you  threaten  them. 
Don't  you  know  this?     Well,  then,  come  with  me!' 

"The  devil  grabbed  the  priest  by  the  collar,  lifted 
him  high  in  the  air,  and  carried  him  to  a  factory,  to 
an  iron  foundry.  He  saw  the  workmen  there  running 
and  hurrying  to  and  fro,  and  toiling  in  the  scorching 
heat.  Very  soon  the  thick,  heavy  air  and  the  heat  are 
too  much  for  the  priest.  With  tears  in  his  eyes,  he 
pleads  with  the  devil :  'Let  me  go !  Let  me  leave  this 
hell !' 

"  'Oh,  my  dear  friend,  I  must  show  you  many  more 


places.'  The  devil  gets  hold  pf  him  again  and  drags 
him  off  to  a  farm.  There  he  sees  workmen  threshing 
the  grain.  The  dust  and  heat  are  insufferable.  The 
overseer  carries  a  knout,  and  unmercifully  beats  any- 
one who  falls  to  the  ground  overcome  by  hard  toil 
or  hunger. 

"Next  the  priest  is  taken  to  the  huts  where  these 
same  workers  live  with  their  families — dirty,  cold, 
smoky,  ill-smelling  holes.  The  devil  grins.  He  points 
out  the  poverty  and  hardships  which  are  at  home 

"  'Well,  isn't  this  enough  ?'  he  asks.  And  it  seems 
as  if  even  he,  the  devil,  pities  the  people.  The  pious 
servant  of  God  can  hardly  bear  it.  With  uplifted 
hands  he  begs:  'Let  me  go  away  from  here.  Yes, 
yes !    This  is  hell  on  earth  !' 

"  'Well,  then,  you  see.  And  you  still  promise  them 
another  hell.  You  torment  them,  torture  them  to 
death  mentally  when  they  are  already  all  but  dead 
physically!  Come  on!  I  will  show  you  one  more 
hell — one  more,  the  very  worst.' 

"He  took  him  to  a  prison  and  showed  him  a 
dungeon,  with  its  foul  air  and  the  many  human 
forms,  robbed  of  all  health  and  energy,  lying  on  the 
floor,  covered  with  vermin  that  were  devouring  their 
poor,  naked,  emaciated  bodies. 

"  'Take  off  your  silken  clothes,'  said  the  devil  to 
the  priest,  'put  on  your  ankles  heavy  chains  such  as 
these  unfortunates  wear;  lie  down  on  the  cold  and 
filthy  floor — and  then  talk  to  them  about  a  hell  that 
still  awaits  them !' 

"  'No,  no !'  answered  the  priest,  'I  cannot  think  of 


anything  more  dreadful  than  this.     I  entreat  you,  let 
me  go  away  from  here !' 

"  'Yes,  this  is  hell.  There  can  be  no  worse  hell 
than  this.  Did  you  not  know  it?  Did  you  not  know 
that  these  men  and  women  whom  you  are  frightening 
with  the  picture  of  a  hell  hereafter — did  you  not 
know  that  they  are  in  hell  right  here,  before  they 

This  was  written  fifty  years  ago  in  dark  Russia, 
on  the  wall  of  one  of  the  most  horrible  prisons. 
Yet  who  can  deny  that  the  same  applies  wath  equal 
force  to  the  present  time,  even  to  American  prisons? 

With  all  our  boasted  reforms,  our  great  social 
changes,  and  our  far-reaching  discoveries,  human 
beings  continue  to  be  sent  to  the  worst  of  hells, 
wherein  they  are  outraged,  degraded,  and  tortured, 
that  society  may  be  "protected"  from  the  phantoms 
of  its  own  making. 

Prison,  a  social  protection?  What  monstrous 
mind  ever  conceived  such  an  idea?  Just  as  well  say 
that  health  can  be  promoted  by  a  widespread  con- 

After  eighteen  months  of  horror  in  an  English 
prison,  Oscar  Wilde  gave  to  the  world  his  great 
masterpiece,  The  Ballad  of  Reading  Goal: 

The   vilest    deeds,    like   poison   weeds, 

Bloom  well  in  prison  air ; 
It  is  only  what  is  good  in  Man 

That  wastes  and  withers  there. 
Pale  Anguish  keeps  the  heavj^  gate, 

And  the  Warder  is  Desoair. 


Society  goes  on  perpetuating  this  poisonous  air, 
not  realizing  that  out  of  it  can  come  naught  but  the 
most  poisonous  results. 

We  are  spending  at  the  present  $3,500,000  per 
day,  $1,000,095,000  per  year,  to  maintain  prison  in- 
stitutions, and  that  in  a  democratic  country, — a  sum 
almost  as  large  as  the  combined  output  of  wheat, 
valued  at  $750,000,000,  and  the  output  of  coal,  valued 
at  $350,000,000.  Professor  Bushnell  of  Washington, 
D.  C,  estimates  the  cost  of  prisons  at  $6,000,000,000 
annually,  and  Dr.  G.  Frank  Lydston,  an  eminent 
American  writer  on  crime,  gives  $5,000,000,000  an- 
nually as  a  reasonable  figure.  Such  unheard-of 
expenditure  for  the  purpose  of  maintaining  vast 
armies  of  human  beings  caged  up  like  wild  beasts!* 

Yet  crimes  are  on  the  increase.  Thus  we  learn 
that  in  America  there  are  four  and  a  half  times  as 
many  crimes  to  every  million  population  today  as 
there  were  twenty  years  ago. 

The  most  horrible  aspect  is  that  our  national 
crime  is  murder,  not  robbery,  embezzlement,  or  rape, 
as  in  the  South.  London  is  five  times  as  large  as 
Chicago,  yet  there  are  one  hundred  and  eighteen 
murders  annually  in  the  latter  city,  while  only  twenty 
in  London.  Nor  is  Chicago  the  leading  city  in  crime, 
since  it  is  only  seventh  on  the  list,  which  is  headed 
by  four  Southern  cities,  and  San  Francisco  and  Los 
Angeles.  In  view  of  such  a  terrible  condition  of 
affairs,  it  seems  ridiculous  to  prate  of  the  protection 
society  derives  from  its  prisons. 

*  Crime  and  Criminals.    W.  C.  Owen. 


The  average  mind  is  slow  in  grasping  a  truth, 
but  when  the  most  thoroughly  organized,  centralized 
institution,  maintained  at  an  excessive  national  ex- 
pense, has  proven  a  complete  social  failure,  the 
dullest  must  begin  to  question  its  right  to  exist.  The 
time  is  past  when  we  can  be  content  with  our  social 
fabric  merely  because  it  is  "ordained  by  divine  right," 
or  by  the  majesty  of  the  law. 

The  widespread  prison  investigations,  agitation, 
and  education  during  the  last  few  years  are  con- 
clusive proof  that  men  are  learning  to  dig  deep  into 
the  very  bottom  of  society,  down  to  the  causes  of  the 
terrible  discrepancy  between  social  and  individual  life. 

Why,  then,  are  prisons  a  social  crime  and  a  fail- 
ure? To  answer  this  vital  question  it  behooves  us  to 
seek  the  nature  and  cause  of  crimes,  the  methods 
employed  in  coping  with  them,  and  the  effects  these 
methods  produce  in  ridding  society  of  the  curse  and 
horror  of  crimes. 

First,  as  to  the  nature  of  crime : 

Havelock  Ellis  divides  crime  into  four  phases, 
the  political,  the  passional,  the  insane,  and  the  occa- 
sional. He  says  that  the  political  criminal  is  the  vic- 
tim of  an  attempt  of  a  more  or  less  despotic  govern- 
ment to  preserve  its  own  stability.  He  is  not  neces- 
sarily guilty  of  an  unsocial  offense ;  he  simply  tries  to 
overturn  a  certain  political  order  which  may  itself  be 
anti-social.  This  truth  is  recognized  all  over  the 
world,  except  in  America  where  the  foolish  notion 
still  prevails  that  in  a  Democracy  there  is  no  place  for 
political  criminals.  Yet  John  Brown  was  a  political 
criminal;  so  were  the  Chicago  Anarchists;  so  is  every 


Striker.  Consequently,  says  Havelock  Ellis,  the 
political  criminal  of  our  time  or  place  may  be  the 
hero,  martyr,  saint  of  another  age.  Lombroso  calls 
the  political  criminal  the  true  precursor  of  the  pro- 
gressive movement  of   humanity. 

"The  criminal  by  passion  is  usually  a  man  of 
wholesome  birth  and  honest  life,  who  under  the  stress 
of  some  great,  unmerited  wrong  has  wrought  justice 
for  himself."* 

Mr.  Hugh  C.  Weir,  in  The  Menace  of  the  Police, 
cites  the  case  of  Jim  Flaherty,  a  criminal  by  passion, 
who,  instead  of  being  saved  by  society,  is  turned  into 
a  drunkard  and  a  recidivist,  with  a  ruined  and  pov- 
erty-stricken family  as  the  result. 

A  more  pathetic  type  is  Archie,  the  victim  in 
Brand  Whitlock's  novel.  The  Turn  of  the  Balance, 
the  greatest  American  expose  of  crime  in  the  making. 
Archie,  even  more  than  Flaherty,  was  driven  to  crime 
and  death  by  the  cruel  inhumanity  of  his  surround- 
ings, and  by  the  unscrupulous  hounding  of  the  ma- 
chinery of  the  law.  Archie  and  Flaherty  are  but  the 
types  of  many  thousands,  demonstrating  how  the 
legal  aspects  of  crime,  and  the  methods  of  dealing 
with  it,  help  to  create  the  disease  which  is  undermin- 
ing our  entire  social  life. 

"The  insane  criminal  really  can  no  more  be  con- 
sidered a  criminal  than  a  child,  since  he  is  mentally 
in  the  same  condition  as  an  infant  or  an  animal."* 

The  law  already  recognizes  that,  but  only  in  rare 
cases  of  a  very  flagrant  nature,  or  when  the  culprit's 

*  The  Criminal,  Havelock  Ellis^ 


wealth  permits  the  luxury  of  criminal  insanity.  It 
has  become  quite  fashionable  to  be  the  victim  of 
paranoia.  But  on  the  whole  the  "sovereignty  of 
justice"  still  continues  to  punish  criminally  insane 
with  the  whole  severity  of  its  power.  Thus  Mr.  Ellis 
quotes  from  Dr.  Richter's  statistics  showing  that  in 
Germany  one  hundred  and  six  madmen,  out  of  one 
hundred  and  forty-four  criminally  insane,  were  con- 
demned to  severe  punishment. 

The  occasional  criminal  "represents  by  far  the 
largest  class  of  our  prison  population,  hence  is  the 
greatest  menace  to  social  well-being."  What  is  the 
cause  that  compels  a  vast  army  of  the  human  family 
to  take  to  crime,  to  prefer  the  hideous  life  within 
prison  walls  to  the  life  outside?  Certainly  that  cause 
must  be  an  iron  m.aster,  who  leaves  its  victims  no 
avenue  of  escape,  for  the  most  depraved  human  being 
loves  liberty. 

This  terrific  force  is  conditioned  in  our  cruel 
social  and  economic  arrangement.  I  do  not  mean  to 
deny  the  biologic,  physiologic,  or  psychologic  factors 
in  creating  crime;  but  there  is  hardly  an  advanced 
criminologist  who  Vv^ill  not  concede  that  the  social  and 
economic  influences  are  the  most  relentless,  the  most 
poisonous  germs  of  crime.  Granted  even  that  there 
are  innate  criminal  tendencies,  it  is  none  the  less  true 
that  these  tendencies  find  rich  nutrition  in  our  social 

There  is  close  relation,  says  Havelock  Ellis,  be- 
tween crimes  against  the  person  and  the  price  of 
alcohol,  between  crimes  against  property  and  the  price 
of  wheat.     He  quotes  Ouetelet  and  Lacassagne,  the 


former  looking  upon  society  as  the  preparer  of  crime, 
and  the  criminals  as  instruments  that  execute  them. 
The  latter  finds  that  "the  social  environment  is  the 
cultivation  medium  of  criminality;  that  the  criminal 
is  the  microbe,  an  element  which  only  becomes  im- 
portant when  it  finds  the  medium  which  causes  it  to 
ferment;  every  society  has  the  criminals  it  deserves."* 

The  most  "prosperous"  industrial  period  makes  it 
impossible  for  the  worker  to  earn  enough  to  keep  up 
health  and  vigor.  And  as  prosperity  is,  at  best,  an 
imaginary  condition,  thousands  of  people  are  con- 
stantly added  to  the  host  of  the  unemployed.  From 
East  to  West,  from  South  to  North,  this  vast  army 
tramps  in  search  of  work  or  food,  and  all  they  find  is 
the  workhouse  or  the  slums.  Those  who  have  a 
spark  of  self-respect  left,  prefer  open  defiance,  pre- 
fer crime  to  the  emaciated,  degraded  position  of 

Edward  Carpenter  estimates  that  five-sixths  of 
indictable  crimes  consist  in  some  violation  of  property 
rights ;  but  that  is  too  low  a  figure.  A  thorough  in- 
vestigation would  prove  that  nine  crimes  out  of  ten 
could  be  traced,  directly  or  indirectly,  to  our  economic 
and  social  iniquities,  to  our  system  of  remorseless 
exploitation  and  robbery.  There  is  no  criminal  so 
stupid  but  recognizes  this  terrible  fact,  though  he  may 
not  be  able  to  account  for  it. 

A  collection  of  criminal  philosophy,  which  Have- 
lock  Ellis,  Lombroso,  and  other  eminent  men  have 
compiled,    shows    that    the    criminal    feels    only    too 

*  The  Criminal 


keenly  that  it  is  society  that  drives  him  to  crime.  A 
Milanese  thief  said  to  Lombroso:  "I  do  not  rob,  I 
merely  take  from  the  rich  their  superfluities;  besides, 
do  not  advocates  and  merchants  rob?"  A  murderer 
wrote:  "Knowing  that  three- fourths  of  the  social 
virtues  are  cowardly  vices,  I  thought  an  open  assault 
on  a  rich  man  would  be  less  ignoble  than  the  cautious 
combination  of  fraud."  Another  wrote:  "I  am  im- 
prisoned for  stealing  a  half  dozen  eggs.  Ministers 
who  rob  millions  are  honored.  Poor  Italy!"  An 
educated  convict  said  to  Mr.  Davitt:  "The  laws  of 
society  are  framed  for  the  purpose  of  securing  the 
wealth  of  the  world  to  power  and  calculation,  thereby 
depriving  the  larger  portion  of  mankind  of  its  rights 
and  chances.  Why  should  they  punish  me  for  taking 
by  somewhat  similar  means  from  those  who  have 
taken  more  than  they  had  a  right  to?"  The  same 
man  added :  "Religion  robs  the  soul  of  its  inde- 
pendence; patriotism  is  the  stupid  worship  of  the 
world  for  which  the  well-being  and  the  peace  of  the 
inhabitants  were  sacrificed  by  those  who  profit  by  it, 
while  the  laws  of  the  land,  in  restraining  natural 
desires,  were  waging  war  on  the  manifest  spirit  of  the 
law  of  our  beings.  Compared  with  this,"  he  con- 
cluded, "thieving  is  an  honorable  pursuit."* 

Verily,  there  is  greater  truth  in  this  philosophy 
than  in  all  the  law-and-moral  books  of  society. 

The  economic,  political,  moral,  and  physical  fac- 
tors being  the  microbes  of  crime,  how  does  society 
meet  the  situation? 

*  The  Criminal. 


The  methods  of  coping  with  crime  have  no  doubt 
undergone  several  changes,  but  mainly  in  a  theoretic 
sense.  In  practice,  society  has  retained  the  primitive 
motive  in  dealing  with  the  offender;  that  is,  revenge. 
It  has  also  adopted  the  theologic  idea;  namely,  pun- 
ishment; while  the  legal  and  "civilized"  methods  con- 
sist of  deterrence  or  terror,  and  reform.  We  shall 
presently  see  that  all  four  modes  have  failed  utterly, 
and  that  we  are  today  no  nearer  a  solution  than  in  the 
dark  ages. 

The  natural  impulse  of  the  primitive  man  to  strike 
back,  to  avenge  a  wrong,  is  out  of  date.  Instead,  the 
civilized  man,  stripped  of  courage  and  daring,  has 
delegated  to  an  organized  machinery  the  duty  of 
avenging  his  wrongs,  in  the  foolish  belief  that  the 
State  is  justified  in  doing  what  he  no  longer  has  the 
manhood  or  consistency  to  do.  The  "majesty  of  the 
law"  is  a  reasoning  thing ;  it  would  not  stoop  to  primi- 
tive instincts.  Its  mission  is  of  a  "higher"  nature. 
True,  it  is  still  steeped  in  the  theologic  m.uddle,  which 
proclaims  punishment  as  a  means  of  purification,  or 
the  vicarious  atonement  of  sin.  But  legally  and 
socially  the  statute  exercises  punishment,  not  merely 
as  an  infliction  of  pain  upon  the  offender,  but  also  for 
its  terrifying  effect  upon  others. 

What  is  the  real  basis  of  punishment,  however? 
The  notion  of  a  free  will,  the  idea  that  man  is  at  all 
times  a  free  agent  for  good  or  evil ;  if  he  chooses  the 
latter,  he  must  be  made  to  pay  the  price.  Although 
this  theory  has  long  been  exploded,  and  thrown  upon 
the  dustheap,  it  continues  to  be  applied  daily  by  the 
entire  machinery  of  government,  turning  it  into  the 


most  cruel  and  brutal  tormentor  of  human  life.  The 
only  reason  for  its  continuance  is  the  still  more  cruel 
notion  that  the  greater  the  terror  punishment  spreads, 
the  more  certain  its  preventative  effect. 

Society  is  using  the  most  drastic  methods  in  deal- 
ing with  the  social  oft'ender.  Why  do  they  not  deter  ? 
Although  in  America  a  man  is  supposed  to  be  con- 
sidered innocent  until  proven  guilty,  the  instruments 
of  law,  the  police,  carry  on  a  reign  of  terror,  making 
indiscriminate  arrests,  beating,  clubbing,  bullying 
people,  using  the  barbarous  method  of  the  "third 
degree,"  subjecting  their  unfortunate  victims  to  the 
foul  air  of  the  station  house,  and  the  still  fouler  lan- 
guage of  its  guardians.  Yet  crimes  are  rapidly  mul- 
tiplying, and  society  is  paying  the  price.  On  the  other 
hand,  it  is  an  open  secret  that  when  the  unfortunate 
citizen  has  been  given  the  full  "mercy"  of  the  law, 
and  for  the  sake  of  safety  is  hidden  in  the  worst  of 
hells,  his  real  Calvary  begins.  Robbed  of  his  rights  as 
a  human  being,  degraded  to  a  mere  automaton  with- 
out will  or  feeling,  dependent  entirely  upon  the  mercy 
of  brutal  keepers,  he  daily  goes  through  a  process  of 
dehumanization,  compared  with  which  savage  revenge 
was  mere  child's  play. 

There  is  not  a  single  penal  institution  or  reforma- 
tory in  the  United  States  where  men  are  not  tortured 
"to  be  made  good,"  by  means  of  the  black-jack,  the 
club,  the  strait- jacket,  the  water-cure,  the  "hum- 
ming bird"  (an  electrical  contrivance  run  along  the 
human  body),  the  solitary,  the  bull-ring,  and  starva- 
tion diet.  In  these  institutions  his  will  is  broken,  his 
soul  degraded,  his  spirit  subdued  by  the  deadly  mo- 


notony  and  routine  of  prison  life.  In  Ohio,  Illinois, 
Pennsylvania,  Missouri,  and  in  the  South,  these  hor- 
rors have  become  so  flagrant  as  to  reach  the  outside 
world,  while  in  most  other  prisons  the  same  Christian 
methods  still  prevail.  But  prison  walls  rarely  allow 
the  agonized  shrieks  of  the  victims  to  escape — prison 
walls  are  thick,  they  dull  the  sound.  Society  might 
with  greater  immunity  abolish  all  prisons  at  once, 
than  to  hope  for  protection  from  these  twentieth-cen- 
tury chambers  of  horrors. 

Year  after  year  the  gates  of  prison  hells  return  to 
the  world  an  emaciated,  deformed,  will-less,  ship- 
wrecked crew  of  humanity,  with  the  Cain  mark  on 
their  foreheads,  their  hopes  crushed,  all  their  natural 
inclinations  thwarted.  With  nothing  but  hunger  and 
inhumanity  to  greet  them,  these  victims  soon  sink 
back  into  crime  as  the  only  possibility  of  existence. 
It  is  not  at  all  an  unusual  thing  to  find  men  and 
women  who  have  spent  half  their  lives — nay,  almost 
their  entire  existence — in  prison.  I  know  a  woman  on 
Blackwell's  Island,  who  had  been  in  and  out  thirty- 
eight  times ;  and  through  a  friend  I  learn  that  a  young 
boy  of  seventeen,  whom  he  had  nursed  and  cared  for 
in  the  Pittsburg  penitentiary,  had  never  known  the 
meaning  of  liberty.  From  the  reformatory  to  the 
penitentiary  had  been  the  path  of  this  boy's  life,  until, 
broken  in  body,  he  died  a  victim  of  social  revenge. 
These  personal  experiences  are  substantiated  by  ex- 
tensive data  giving  overwhelming  proof  of  the  utter 
futility  of  prisons  as  a  means  of  deterrence  or  reform. 

Well-meaning  persons  are  now  working  for  a  new 
departure    in    the    prison    question, — reclamation,    to 


restore  once  more  to  the  prisoner  the  possibility  of 
becoming  a  human  being.  Commendable  as  this  is,  I 
fear  it  is  impossible  to  hope  for  good  results  from 
pouring  good  wine  into  a  musty  bottle.  Nothing 
short  of  a  complete  reconstruction  of  society  will 
deliver  mankind  from  the  cancer  of  crime.  Still,  if 
the  dulfedge  of  our  social  conscience  would  be  sharp- 
ened, the  penal  institutions  might  be  given  a  new  coat 
of  varnish.  But  the  first  step  to  be  taken  is  the 
renovation  of  the  social  consciousness,  which  is  in  a 
rather  dilapidated  condition.  It  is  sadly  in  need  to 
be  awakened  to  the  fact  that  crime  is  a  question  of 
degree,  that  we  all  have  the  rudiments  of  crime  in  us, 
more  or  less,  according  to  our  mental,  physical,  and 
social  environment;  and  that  the  individual  criminal 
is  merely  a  reflex  of  the  tendencies  of  the  aggregate. 

With  the  social  consciousness  wakened,  the  aver- 
age individual  may  learn  to  refuse  the  "honor"  of 
being  the  bloodhound  of  the  law.  He  may  cease  to 
persecute,  despise,  and  mistrust  the  social  offender, 
and  give  him  a  chance  to  live  and  breathe  among  his 
fellows.  Institutions  are,  of  course,  harder  to  reach. 
They  are  cold,  impenetrable,  and  cruel;  still,  with  the 
social  consciousness  quickened,  it  might  be  possible  to 
free  the  prison  victims  from  the  brutality  of  prison 
officials,  guards,  and  keepers.  Public  opinion  is  a 
powerful  weapon;  keepers  of  human  prey,  even,  are 
afraid  of  it.  They  may  be  taught  a  little  humanity, 
especially  if  they  realize  that  their  jobs  depend  upon  it. 

But  the  most  important  step  is  to  demand  for  the 
prisoner  the  right  to  work  while  in  prison,  with  some 
monetary  recompense  that  would  enable  him  to  lay 


aside  a  little  for  the  day  of  his  release,  the  beginning 
of  a  new  life. 

It  is  almost  ridiculous  to  hope  much  from  present 
society  when  we  consider  that  workingmen,  wage- 
slaves  themselves,  object  to  convict  labor.  I  shall  not 
go  into  the  cruelty  of  this  objection,  but  merely  con- 
sider the  impracticability  of  it.  To  begin  with,  the 
opposition  so  far  raised  by  organized  labor  has  been 
directed  against  windmills.  Prisoners  have  always 
worked;  only  the  State  has  been  their  exploiter,  even 
as  the  individual  employer  has  been  the  robber  of 
organized  labor.  The  States  have  either  set  the  con- 
victs to  work  for  the  government,  or  they  have 
farmed  convict  labor  to  private  individuals.  Twenty- 
nine  of  the  States  pursue  the  latter  plan.  The  Federal 
government  and  seventeen  States  have  discarded  it, 
as  have  the  leading  nations  of  Europe,  since  it  leads 
to  hideous  overworking  and  abuse  of  prisoners,  and 
to  endless  graft. 

"Rhode  Island,  the  State  dominated  by  Aldrich, 
offers  perhaps  the  worst  example.  Under  a  five-year 
contract,  dated  July  7th,  1906,  and  renewable  for  five 
years  more  at  the  option  of  private  contractors,  the 
labor  of  the  inmates  of  the  Rhode  Island  Penitentiary 
and  the  Providence  County  Jail  is  sold  to  the  Reli- 
ance-Sterling Mfg.  Co.  at  the  rate  of  a  trifle  less  than 
25  cents  a  day  per  man.  This  Company  is  really  a 
gigantic  Prison  Labor  Trust,  for  it  also  leases  the 
convict  labor  of  Connecticut,  Michigan,  Indiana, 
Nebraska,  and  South  Dakota  penitentiaries,  and  the 
reformatories  of  New  Jersey,  Indiana,  Illinois,  and 
Wisconsin,  eleven  establishments  in  all. 


"The  enormity  of  the  graft  under  the  Rhode  Island 
contract  may  be  estimated  from  the  fact  that  this  same 
Company  pays  62^  cents  a  day  in  Nebraska  for  the 
convict's  labor,  and  that  Tennessee,  for  example,  gets 
$1.10  a  day  for  a  convict's  work  from  the  Gray-Dud- 
ley Hardware  Co. ;  Missouri  gets  70  cents  a  day  from 
the  Star  Overall  Mfg.  Co. ;  West  Virginia  65  cents  a 
day  from  the  Kraft  Mfg.  Co.,  and  Maryland  55  cents 
a  day  from  Oppenheim,  Oberndorf  &  Co.,  shirt  manu- 
facturers. The  very  difference  in  prices  points  to 
enormous  graft.  For  example,  the  Reliance- Sterling 
Mfg.  Co.  manufactures  shirts,  the  cost  by  free  labor 
being  not  less  than  $1.20  per  dozen,  while  it  pays 
Rhode  Island  thirty  cents  a  dozen.  Furthermore,  the 
State  charges  this  Trust  no  rent  for  the  use  of  its 
huge  factory,  charges  nothing  for  power,  heat,  light, 
or  even  drainage,  and  exacts  no  taxes.    What  graft  !"* 

It  is  estimated  that  more  than  twelve  million  dol- 
lars' worth  of  workingmen's  shirts  and  overalls  is  pro- 
duced annually  in  this  country  by  prison  labor.  It  is  a 
woman's  industry,  and  the  first  reflection  that  arises  is 
that  an  immense  amount  of  free  female  labor  is  thus 
displaced.  The  second  consideration  is  that  male  con- 
victs, who  should  be  learning  trades  that  would  give 
them  some  chance  of  being  self-supporting  after  their 
release,  are  kept  at  this  work  at  which  they  can  not 
possibly  make  a  dollar.  This  is  the  more  serious  when 
we  consider  that  much  of  this  labor  is  done  in  reform- 
atories, which  so  loudly  profess  to  be  training  their 
inmates  to  become  useful  citizens. 

'•  J.,  -oted  from  the  publications  of  the  National  Com- 
mittee on  Prison  Labor. 


The  third,  and  most  important,  consideration  is 
that  the  enormous  profits  thus  wrung  from  convict 
labor  are  a  constant  incentive  to  the  contractors  to 
exact  from  their  unhappy  victims  tasks  altogether 
beyond  their  strength,  and  to  punish  them  cruelly 
when  their  work  does  not  come  up  to  the  excessive 
demands  made. 

Another  word  on  the  condemnation  of  convicts  to 
tasks  at  which  they  cannot  hope  to  make  a  living  after 
release.  Indiana,  for  example,  is  a  State  that  has 
made  a  great  splurge  over  being  in  the  front  rank  of 
modern  penological  improvements.  Yet,  according  to 
the  report  rendered  in  1908  by  the  training  school  of 
its  "reformatory,"  135  were  engaged  in  the  manufac- 
ture of  chains,  207  in  that  of  shirts,  and  255  in  the 
foundry — a  total  of  597  in  three  occupations.  But  at 
this  so-called  reformatory  59  occupations  were  repre- 
sented by  the  inmates,  39  of  which  were  connected 
with  country  pursuits.  Indiana,  like  other  States, 
professes  to  be  training  the  inmates  of  her  reforma- 
tory to  occupations  by  which  they  will  be  able  to  make 
their  living  when  released.  She  actually  sets  them  to 
work  making  chains,  shirts,  and  brooms,  the  latter  for 
the  benefit  of  the  Louisville  Fancy  Grocery  Co. 
Broom-making  is  a  trade  largely  monopolized  by  the 
blind,  shirt-making  is  done  by  women,  and  there  is 
only  one  free  chain- factory  in  the  State,  and  at  that  a 
released  convict  can  not  hope  to  get  employment. 
The  whole  thing  is  a  cruel  farce. 

If,  then,  the  States  can  be  instrumental  in  robbing 
their  helpless  victims  of  such  tremendous  profits,  is  it 
not  high  time  for  organized  labor  to  stop  its  idle  howl, 


and  to  insist  on  decent  remuneration  for  the  convict, 
even  as  labor  organizations  claim  for  themselves  ?  In 
that  way  workingmen  would  kill  the  germ  which 
makes  of  the  prisoner  an  enemy  to  the  interests  of 
labor.  I  have  said  elsewhere  that  thousands  of  con- 
victs, incompetent  and  without  a  trade,  without  means 
of  subsistence,  are  yearly  turned  back  into  the  social 
fold.  These  men  and  women  must  live,  for  even  an 
ex-convict  has  needs.  Prison  life  has  made  them 
anti-social  beings,  and  the  rigidly  closed  doors  that 
meet  them  on  their  release  are  not  likely  to  decrease 
their  bitterness.  The  inevitable  result  is  that  they 
form  a  favorable  nucleus  out  of  which  scabs,  black- 
legs, detectives,  and  policemen  are  drawn,  only  too 
willing  to  do  the  master's  bidding.  Thus  organized 
labor,  by  its  foolish  opposition  to  work  in  prison, 
defeats  its  own  ends.  It  helps  to  create  poisonous 
fumes  that  stifle  every  attempt  for  economic  better- 
ment. If  the  workingman  wants  to  avoid  these 
effects,  he  should  insist  on  the  right  of  the  convict  to 
work,  he  should  meet  him  as  a  brother,  take  him  into 
his  organization,  and  with  his  aid  turn  against  the  sys- 
tem which  grinds  them  both. 

Last,  but  not  least,  is  the  growing  realization  of 
the  barbarity  and  the  inadequacy  of  the  definite  sen- 
tence. Those  who  believe  in,  and  earnestly  aim  at,  a 
change  are  fast  coming  to  the  conclusion  that  man 
must  be  given  an  opportunity  to  make  good.  And 
how  is  he  to  do  it  with  ten,  fifteen,  or  twenty  years' 
imprisonment  before  him?  The  hope  of  liberty  and 
of  opportunity  is  the  only  incentive  to  life,  especially 
the  prisoner's  life.     Society  has  sinned  so  long  against 


him — it  ought  at  least  to  leave  him  that.  I  am  not 
very  sanguine  that  it  will,  or  that  any  real  change  in 
that  direction  can  take  place  until  the  conditions  that 
breed  both  the  prisoner  and  the  jailer  will  be  forever 

Out  of  his  mouth  a  red,  red  rose ! 

Out  of  his  heart  a  white ! 

For  who  can  say  by  what  strange  way 

Christ  brings  his  will  to  light, 

Since  the  barren   staff  the  pilgrim  bore 

Bloomed  in  the  great  Pope's  sight. 



What  is  patriotism?  Is  it  love  of  one's  birthplace, 
the  place  of  childhood's  recollections  and  hopes, 
dreams  and  aspirations?  Is  it  the  place  where,  in 
childlike  naivety,  we  would  watch  the  fleeting  clouds, 
and  wonder  why  we,  too,  could  not  run  so  swiftly? 
The  place  where  we  would  count  the  milliard  glitter- 
ing stars,  terror-stricken  lest  each  one  "an  eye  should 
be,"  piercing  the  very  depths  of  our  little  souls  ?  Is  it 
the  place  where  we  would  listen  to  the  music  of  the 
birds,  and  long  to  have  wings  to  fly,  even  as  they,  to 
distant  lands?  Or  the  place  where  we  would  sit  at 
mother's  knee,  enraptured  by  wonderful  tales  of  great 
deeds  and  conquests  ?  In  short,  is  it  love  for  the  spot, 
every  inch  representing  dear  and  precious  recollec- 
tions of  a  happy,  joyous,  and  playful  childhood? 

If  that  were  patriotism,  few  American  men  of 
today  could  be  called  upon  to  be  patriotic,  since  the 
place  of  play  has  been  turned  into  factory,  mill,  and 
mine,  while  deafening  sounds  of  machinery  have 
replaced  the  music  of  the  birds.  Nor  can  we  longer 
hear  the  tales  of  great  deeds,  for  the  stories  our 
mothers  tell  today  are  but  those  of  sorrow,  tears,  and 


What,  then,  is  patriotism?  "Patriotism,  sir,  is  the 
last  resort  of  scoundrels,"  said  Dr.  Johnson.  Leo  Tol- 
stoy, the  greatest  anti-patriot  of  our  times,  defines 
patriotism  as  the  principle  that  will  justify  the  train- 
ing of  wholesale  murderers ;  a  trade  that  requires  bet- 
ter equipment  for  the  exercise  of  man-killing  than  the 
making  of  such  necessities  of  life  as  shoes,  clothing, 
and  houses ;  a  trade  that  guarantees  better  returns  and 
greater  glory  than  that  of  the  average  workingman. 

Gustave  Herve,  another  great  anti-patriot,  justly 
calls  patriotism  a  superstition — one  far  more  injuri- 
ous, brutal,  and  inhumane  than  religion.  The  super- 
stition of  religion  originated  in  man's  inability  to 
explain  natural  phenomena.  That  is,  when  primitive 
man  heard  thunder  or  saw  the  lightning,  he  could  not 
account  for  either,  and  therefore  concluded  that  back 
of  them  must  be  a  force  greater  than  himself.  Simi- 
larly he  saw  a  supernatural  force  in  the  rain,  and  in 
the  various  other  changes  in  nature.  Patriotism,  on 
the  other  hand,  is  a  superstition  artificially  created  and 
maintained  through  a  network  of  lies  and  falsehoods ; 
a  superstition  that  robs  man  of  his  self-respect  and 
dignity,  and  increases  his  arrogance  and  conceit. 

Indeed,  conceit,  arrogance,  and  egotism  are  the 
essentials  of  patriotism.  Let  me  illustrate.  Patriot- 
ism assumes  that  our  globe  is  divided  into  little  spots, 
each  one  surrounded  by  an  iron  gate.  Those  who 
have  had  the  fortune  of  being  born  on  some  particular 
spot,  consider  themselves  better,  nobler,  grander, 
more  intelligent  than  the  living  beings  inhabiting  any 
other  spot.     It  is,   therefore,   the   duty  of   everyone 


living  on  that  chosen  spot  to  fight,  kill,  and  die  in  the 
attempt  to  impose  his  superiority  upon  all  the  others. 

The  inhabitants  of  the  other  spots  reason  in  like 
manner,  of  course,  with  the  result  that,  from  early- 
infancy,  the  mind  of  the  child  is  poisoned  with  blood- 
curdling stories  about  the  Germans,  the  French,  the 
Italians,  Russians,  etc.  When  the  child  has  reached 
manhood,  he  is  thoroughly  saturated  with  the  belief 
that  he  is  chosen  by  the  Lord  himself  to  defend  his 
country  against  the  attack  or  invasion  of  any  for- 
eigner. It  is  for  that  purpose  that  we  are  clamoring 
for  a  greater  army  and  navy,  more  battleships  and 
ammunition.  It  is  for  that  purpose  that  America  has 
within  a  short  time  spent  four  hundred  million  dol- 
lars. Just  think  of  it — four  hundred  million  dollars 
taken  from  the  produce  of  the  people.  For  surely  it 
is  not  the  rich  who  contribute  to  patriotism.  They 
are  cosmopolitans,  perfectly  at  home  in  every  land. 
We  in  America  know  well  the  truth  of  this.  Are  not 
our  rich  Americans  Frenchmen  in  France,  Germans  in 
Germany,  or  Englishmen  in  England?  And  do  they 
not  squandor  with  cosmopolitan  grace  fortunes  coined 
by  American  factory  children  and  cotton  slaves  ?  Yes, 
theirs  is  the  patriotism  that  will  make  it  possible  to 
send  messages  of  condolence  to  a  despot  like  the  Rus- 
sian Tsar,  when  any  mishap  befalls  him,  as  President 
Roosevelt  did  in  the  name  of  his  people,  when  Sergius 
was  punished  by  the  Russian  revolutionists. 

It  is  a  patriotism  that  will  assist  the  arch-murderer, 
Diaz,  in  destroying  thousands  of  lives  in  Mexico,  or 
that  will  even  aid  in  arresting  Mexican  revolutionists 
on    American    soil    and    keep    them    incarcerated    in 


American  prisons,  without  the  sHghtest  cause  or 

But,  then,  patriotism  is  not  for  those  who  repre- 
sent wealth  and  power.  It  is  good  enough  for  the 
people.  It  reminds  one  of  the  historic  wisdom  of 
Frederick  the  Great,  the  bosom  friend  of  Voltaire, 
who  said :  "Religion  is  a  fraud,  but  it  must  be  main- 
tained for  the  masses." 

That  patriotism  is  rather  a  costly  institution,  no 
one  will  doubt  after  considering  the  following  sta- 
tistics. The  progressive  increase  of  the  expenditures 
for  the  leading  armies  and  navies  of  the  world  during 
the  last  quarter  of  a  century  is  a  fact  of  such  gravity 
as  to  startle  every  thoughtful  student  of  economic 
problems.  It  may  be  briefly  indicated  by  dividing  the 
time  from  1881  to  1905  into  five-year  periods,  and 
noting  the  disbursements  of  several  great  nations  for 
army  and  navy  purposes  during  the  first  and  last  of 
those  periods.  From  the  fi^rst  to  the  last  of  the  periods 
noted  the  expenditures  of  Great  Britain  increased 
from  $2,101,848,936  to  $4,143,226,885,  those  of 
France  from  $3,324,500,000  to  $3,455,109,900,  those 
of  Germany  from  $725,000,200  to  $2,700,375,600, 
those  of  the  United  States  from  $1,275,500,750  to 
$2,650,900,450,  those  of  Russia  from  $1,900,975,500  to 
$5,250,445,100,  those  of  Italy  from  $1,600,975,750  to 
$1,755,500,100,  and  those  of  Japan  from  $182,900,500 
to  $700,925,475. 

The  military  expenditures  of  each  of  the  nations 
mentioned  increased  in  each  of  the  five-year  periods 
under  review.  During  the  entire  interval  from  1881 
to  1905  Great  Britain's  outlay  for  her  army  increased 


fourfold,  that  of  the  United  States  was  tripled,  Rus- 
sia's was  doubled,  that  of  Germany  increased  35  per 
cent.,  that  of  France  about  15  per  cent.,  and  that  of 
Japan  nearly  500  per  cent.  If  we  compare  the  ex- 
penditures of  these  nations  upon  their  armies  with 
their  total  expenditures  for  all  the  twenty-five  years 
ending  with  1905,  the  proportion  rose  as  follows : 

In  Great  Britain  from  20  per  cent,  to  37;  in  the 
United  States  from  15  to  23;  in  France  from  16  to  18; 
in  Italy  from  12  to  15;  in  Japan  from  12  to  14.  On 
the  other  hand,  it  is  interesting  to  note  that  the  pro- 
portion in  Germany  decreased  from  about  58  per  cent, 
to  25,  the  decrease  being  due  to  the  enormous  increase 
in  the  imperial  expenditures  for  other  purposes,  the 
fact  being  that  the  army  expenditures  for  the  period 
of  1901-5  were  higher  than  for  any  five-year  period 
preceding.  Statistics  show  that  the  countries  in  which 
army  expenditures  are  greatest,  in  proportion  to  the 
total  national  revenues,  are  Great  Britain,  the  United 
States,  Japan,  France,  and  Italy,  in  the  order  named. 

The  showing  as  to  the  cost  of  great  navies  is 
equally  impressive.  During  the  twenty-five  years 
ending  with  1905  naval  expenditures  increased 
approximately  as  follows :  Great  Britain,  300  per 
cent. ;  France  60  per  cent. ;  Germany  600  per  cent. ;  the 
United  States  525  per  "cent.;  Russia  300  per  cent.; 
Italy  250  per  cent. ;  and  Japan,  700  per  cent.  With 
the  exception  of  Great  Britain,  the  United  States 
spends  more  for  naval  purposes  than  any  other  nation, 
and  this  expenditure  bears  also  a  larger  proportion  to 
the  entire  national  disbursements  than  that  of  any 
other  power.     In  the  period  188 1-5,  the  expenditure 


for  the  United  States  navy  was  $6.20  out  of  each  $100 
appropriated  for  all  national  purposes;  the  amount 
rose  to  $6.60  for  the  next  five-year  period,  to  $8.10 
for  the  next,  to  $11.70  for  the  next,  and  to  $16.40  for 
1901-5.  It  is  morally  certain  that  the  outlay  for  the 
current  period  of  five  years  will  show  a  still  further 

The  rising  cost  of  militarism  may  be  still  further 
illustrated  by  computing  it  as  a  per  capita  tax  on 
population.  From  the  first  to  the  last  of  the  five-year 
periods  taken  as  the  basis  for  the  comparisons  here 
given,  it  has  risen  as  follows:  In  Great  Britain,  from 
$18.47  to  $52.50;  in  France,  from  $19.66  to  $23.62; 
in  Germany,  from  $10.17  to  $15.51;  in  the  United 
States,  from  $5.62  to  $13.64;  in  Russia,  from  $6.14 
to  $8.37;  in  Italy,  from  $9.59  to  $11.24,  and  in  Japan 
from  86  cents  to  $3.11. 

It  is  in  connection  with  this  rough  estimate  of 
cost  per  capita  that  the  economic  burden  of  militarism 
is  most  appreciable.  The  irresistible  conclusion  from 
available  data  is  that  the  increase  of  expenditure  for 
army  and  navy  purposes  is  rapidly  surpassing  the 
growth  of  population  in  each  of  the  countries  con- 
sidered in  the  present  calculation.  In  other  words,  a 
continuation  of  the  increased  demands  of  militarism 
threatens  each  of  those  nations  with  a  progressive 
exhaustion  both  of  men  and  resources. 

The  awful  waste  that  patriotism  necessitates  ought 
to  be  sufficient  to  cure  the  man  of  even  average  intelli- 
gence from  this  disease.  Yet  patriotism  demands  still 
more.  The  people  are  urged  to  be  patriotic  and  for 
that  luxury  they  pay,  not  only  by  supporting  their 


"defenders,"  but  even  by  sacrificing  their  own  chil- 
dren. Patriotism  requires  allegiance  to  the  flag,  which 
means  obedience  and  readiness  to  kill  father,  mother, 
brother,  sister. 

The  usual  contention  is  that  we  need  a  standing 
army  to  protect  the  country  from  foreign  invasion. 
Every  intelligent  man  and  woman  knows,  however, 
that  this  is  a  myth  maintained  to  frighten  and  coerce 
the  foolish.  The  governments  of  the  world,  knowing 
each  other's  interests,  do  not  invade  each  other.  They 
have  learned  that  they  can  gain  much  more  by  inter- 
national arbitration  of  disputes  than  by  war  and  con- 
quest. Indeed,  as  Carlyle  said,  "War  is  a  quarrel 
between  two  thieves  too  cowardly  to  fight  their  own 
battle;  therefore  they  take  boys  from  one  village  and 
another  village,  stick  them  into  uniforms,  equip  them 
with  guns,  and  let  them  loose  like  wild  beasts  against 
each  other." 

It  does'  not  require  much  wisdom  to  trace  every 
war  back  to  a  similar  cause.  Let  us  take  our  own 
Spanish-American  war,  supposedly  a  great  and 
patriotic  event  in  the  history  of  the  United  States. 
How  our  hearts  burned  with  indignation  against  the 
atrocious  Spaniards !  True,  our  indignation  did  not 
flare  up  spontaneously.  It  was  nurtured  by  months  of 
newspaper  agitation,  and  long  after  Butcher  Weyler 
had  killed  off  many  noble  Cubans  and  outraged  many 
Cuban  women.  Still,  in  justice  to  the  American 
Nation  be  it  said,  it  did  grow  indignant  and  was  will- 
ing to  fight,  and  that  it  fought  bravely.  But  when  the 
smoke  v/as  over,  the  dead  buried,  and  the  cost  of  the 
war  came  back  to  the  people  in  an  increase  in  the 


price  of  commodities  and  rent — that  is,  when  we 
sobered  up  from  our  patriotic  spree — it  suddenly 
dawned  on  us  that  the  cause  of  the  Spanish-American 
war  was  the  consideration  of  the  price  of  sugar;  or, 
to  be  more  expHcit,  that  the  Hves,  blood,  and  money 
of  the  American  people  were  used  to  protect  the  inter- 
ests of  American  capitalists,  which  were  threatened 
by  the  Spanish  government.  That  this  is  not  an 
exaggeration,  but  is  based  on  absolute  facts  and 
figures,  is  best  proven  by  the  attitude  of  the  American 
government  to  Cuban  labor.  When  Cuba  was  firmly 
in  the  clutches  of  the  United  States,  the  very  soldiers 
sent  to  liberate  Cuba  were  ordered  to  shoot  Cuban 
workingmen  during  the  great  cigarmakers'  strike, 
which  took  place  shortly  after  the  war. 

Nor  do  we  stand  alone  in  waging  war  for  such 
causes.  The  curtain  is  beginning  to  be  lifted  on  the 
motives  of  the  terrible  Russo-Japanese  war,  which 
cost  so  much  blood  and  tears.  And  we  see  again  that 
back  of  the  fierce  Moloch  of  war  stands  the  still  fiercer 
god  of  Commercialism.  Kuropatkin,  the  Russian 
Minister  of  War  during  the  Russo-Japanese  struggle, 
has  revealed  the  true  secret  behind  the  latter.  The 
Tsar  and  his  Grand  Dukes,  having  invested  money  in 
Corean  concessions,  the  war  was  forced  for  the  sole 
purpose  of  speedily  accumulating  large  fortunes. 

The  contention  that  a  standing  army  and  navy  is 
the  best  security  of  peace  is  about  as  logical  as  the 
claim  that  the  most  peaceful  citizen  is  he  who  goes 
about  heavily  armed.  The  experience  of  every-day 
life  fully  proves  that  the  armed  individual  is  invari- 
ably anxious  to  try  his  strength.     The  same  is  his- 


torically  true  of  governments.  Really  peaceful  coun- 
tries do  not  waste  life  and  energy  in  war  preparations, 
with  the  result  that  peace  is  maintained. 

However,  the  clamor  for  an  increased  army  and 
navy  is  not  due  to  any  foreign  danger.  It  is  owing 
to  the  dread  of  the  growing  discontent  of  the  masses 
and  of  the  international  spirit  among  the  workers.  It 
is  to  meet  the  internal  enemy  that  the  Powers  of 
various  countries  are  preparing  themselves ;  an  enemy, 
who,  once  awakened  to  consciousness,  will  prove  more 
dangerous  than  any  foreign  invader. 

The  powers  that  have  for  centuries  been  engaged 
in  enslaving  the  masses  have  made  a  thorough  study 
of  their  psychology.  They  know  that  the  people  at 
large  are  like  children  whose  despair,  sorrow,  and 
tears  can  be  turned  into  joy  with  a  little  toy.  And  the 
more  gorgeously  the  toy  is  dressed,  the  louder  the 
colors,  the  more  it  will  appeal  to  the  million-headed 

An  army  and  navy  represents  the  people's  toys. 
To  make  them  more  attractive  and  acceptable,  hun- 
dreds and  thousands  of  dollars  are  being  spent  for  the 
display  of  these  toys.  That  was  the  purpose  of  the 
American  government  in  equipping  a  fleet  and  send- 
ing it  along  the  Pacific  coast,  that  every  American 
citizen  should  be  made  to  feel  the  pride  and  glory  of 
the  United  States.  The  city  of  San  Francisco  spent 
one  hundred  thousand  dollars  for  the  entertainment 
of  the  fleet;  Los  Angeles,  sixty  thousand;  Seattle  and 
Tacoma,  about  one  hundred  thousand.  To  entertain 
the  fleet,  did  I  say?  To  dine  and  wine  a  few  superior 
officers,  while  the  "brave  boys"  had  to  mutiny  to  get 


sufficient  food.  Yes,  two  hundred  and  sixty  thousand 
dollars  were  spent  on  fireworks,  theatre  parties,  and 
revelries,  at  a  time  when  men,  women,  and  children 
through  the  breadth  and  length  of  the  country  were 
starving  in  the  streets;  when  thousands  of  unem- 
ployed were  ready  to  sell  their  labor  at  any  price. 

Two  hundred  and  sixty  thousand  dollars!  What 
could  not  have  been  accomplished  with  such  an  enor- 
mous sum?  But  instead  of  bread  and  shelter,  the 
children  of  those  cities  were  taken  to  see  the  fleet, 
that  it  may  remain,  as  one  of  the  newspapers  said,  "a 
lasting  memory  for  the  child." 

A  wonderful  thing  to  remember,  is  it  not?  The 
implements  of  civilized  slaughter.  If  the  mind  of  the 
child  is  to  be  poisoned  with  such  memories,  what 
hope  is  there  for  a  true  realization  of  human  brother- 

We  Americans  claim  to  be  a  peace-loving  people. 
We  hate  bloodshed ;  we  are  opposed  to  violence.  Yet 
we  go  into  spasms  of  joy  over  the  possibility  of  pro- 
jecting dynamite  bombs  from  flying  machines  upon 
helpless  citizens.  We  are  ready  to  hang,  electrocute, 
or  lynch  anyone,  who,  from  economic  necessity,  will 
risk  his  own  life  in  the  attempt  upon  that  of  some 
industrial  magnate.  Yet  our  hearts  swell  with  pride 
at  the  thought  that  America  is  becoming  the  most 
powerful  nation  on  earth,  and  that  it  will  eventually 
plant  her  iron  foot  on  the  necks  of  all  other  nations. 

Such  is  the  logic  of  patriotism. 

Considering  the  evil  results  that  patriotism  is 
fraught  with  for  the  average  man,  it  is  as  nothing 
compared  with  the  insult  and  injury  that  patriotism 


heaps  upon  the  soldier  himself, — that  poor,  deluded 
victim  of  superstition  and  ignorance.  He,  the  savior 
of  his  country,  the  protector  of  his  nation, — what  has 
patriotism  in  store  for  him?  A  life  of  slavish  sub- 
mission, vice,  and  perversion,  during  peace;  a  life  of 
danger,  exposure,  and  death,  during  war. 

While  on  a  recent  lecture  tour  in  San  Francisco,  I 
visited  the  Presidio,  the  most  beautiful  spot  overlook- 
ing the  Bay  and  Golden  Gate  Park.  Its  purpose 
should  have  been  playgrounds  for  children,  gardens 
and  music  for  the  recreation  of  the  weary.  Instead  it 
is  made  ugly,  dull,  and  gray  by  barracks, — barracks 
wherein  the  rich  would  not  allow  their  dogs  to  dwell. 
In  these  miserable  shanties  soldiers  are  herded  like 
cattle ;  here  they  waste  their  young  days,  polishing  the 
boots  and  brass  buttons  of  their  superior  officers. 
Here,  too,  I  saw  the  distinction  of  classes :  sturdy  sons 
of  a  free  Republic,  drawn  up  in  line  like  convicts, 
saluting  every  passing  shrimp  of  a  lieutenant.  Amer- 
ican equality,  degrading  manhood  and  elevating  the 
uniform ! 

Barrack  life  further  tends  to  develop  tendencies  of 
sexual  perversion.  It  is  gradually  producing  along 
this  line  results  similar  to  European  military  con- 
ditions. Havelock  EH^lis,  the  noted  writer  on  sex 
psychology,  has  made  a  thorough  study  of  the  subject. 
I  quote:  "Some  of  the  barracks  are  great  centers  of 
male  prostitution.  .  .  .  The  number  of  soldiers  who 
prostitute  themselves  is  greater  than  we  are  willing  to 
believe.  It  is  no  exaggeration  to  say  that  in  certain 
regiments  the  presumption  is  in  favor  of  the  venality 
of  the  majority  of  the  men.  .  .  .  On  summer  even- 


ings  Hyde  Park  and  the  neighborhood  of  Albert  Gate 
are  full  of  guardsmen  and  others  plying  a  lively  trade, 
and  with  little  disguise,  in  uniform  or  out.  ...  In 
most  cases  the  proceeds  form  a  comfortable  addition 
to  Tommy  Atkins'  pocket  money." 

To  what  extent  this  perversion  has  eaten  its  way 
into  the  army  and  navy  can  best  be  judged  from  the 
fact  that  special  houses  exist  for  this  form  of  prosti- 
tution. The  practice  is  not  limited  to  England;  it 
is  universal.  "Soldiers  are  no  less  sought  after  in 
France  than  in  England  or  in  Germany,  and  special 
houses  for  military  prostitution  exist  both  in  Paris 
and  the  garrison  towns." 

Had  Mr.  Havelock  Ellis  included  America  in  his 
investigation  of  sex  perversion,  he  would  have  found 
that  the  same  conditions  prevail  in  our  army  and 
navy  as  in  those  of  other  countries.  The  growth  of 
the  standing  army  inevitably  adds  to  the  spread  of 
sex  perversion;  the  barracks  are  the  incubators. 

Aside  from  the  sexual  effects  of  barrack  life,  it 
also  tends  to  unfit  the  soldier  for  useful  labor  after 
leaving  the  army.  Men,  skilled  in  a  trade,  seldom 
enter  the  army  or  navy,  but  even  they,  after  a  military 
experience,  find  themselves  totally  unfitted  for  their 
former  occupations.  Having  acquired  habits  of  idle- 
ness and  a  taste  for  excitement  and  adventure,  no 
peaceful  pursuit  can  content  them.  Released  from 
the  army,  they  can  turn  to  no  useful  work.  But  it  is 
usually  the  social  riff-raff, .  discharged  prisoners  and 
the  like,  whom  either  the  struggle  for  life  or  their  own 
inclination  drives  into  the  ranks.  These,  their  military 
term  over,  again  turn  to  their  former  life  of  crime. 


more  brutalized  and  degraded  than  before.  It  is  a 
well-known  fact  that  in  our  prisons  there  is  a  goodly 
number  of  ex-soldiers;  while,  on  the  other  hand,  the 
army  and  navy  are  to  a  great  extent  supplied  with 

Of  all  the  evil  results  I  have  just  described 
none  seems  to  me  so  detrimental  to  human  integrity 
as  the  spirit  patriotism  has  produced  in  the  case  of 
Private  William  Buwalda.  Because  he  foolishly 
believed  that  one  can  be  a  soldier  and  exercise  his 
rights  as  a  man  at  the  same  timiC,  the  military  author- 
ities punished  him  severely.  True,  he  had  served  his 
country  fifteen  years,  during  which  time  his  record 
was  unimpeachable.  According  to  Gen.  Funston,  who 
reduced  Buwalda's  sentence  to  three  years,  "the  first 
duty  of  an  officer  or  an  enlisted  man  is  unquestioned 
obedience  and  loyalty  to  the  government,  and  it  makes 
no  difference  whether  he  approves  of  that  government 
or  not."  Thus  Funston  stamps  the  true  character  of 
,allegiance.  According  to  him,  entrance  into  the  army 
abrogates  the  principles  of  the  Declaration  of  Inde- 

What  a  strange  development  of  patriotism  that 
turns  a  thinking  being  into  a  loyal  machine ! 

In  justification  of  this  most  outrageous  sentence  of 
Buwalda,  Gen.  Funston  tells  the  Am.erican  people  that 
the  soldier's  action  was  "a  serious  crime  equal  to 
treason."  Now,  what  did  this  "terrible  crime"  really 
consist  of?  Simply  in  this:  William  Buwalda  was 
one  of  fifteen  hundred  people  who  attended  a  public 
meeting  in  San  Francisco;  and,  oh,  horrors,  he  shook 
hands  with  the  speaker,  Emma  Goldman.     A  terrible 


crime,  indeed,  which  the  General  calls  "a  great  mili- 
tary offense,  infinitely  worse  than  desertion." 

Can  there  be  a  greater  indictment  against  patriot- 
ism than  that  it  will  thus  brand  a  man  a  criminal, 
throw  him  into  prison,  and  rob  him  of  the  results  of 
fifteen  years  of  faithful  service? 

Buwalda  gave  to  his  country  the  best  years  of 
his  life  and  his  very  manhood.  But  all  that  was  as 
nothing.  Patriotism  is  inexorable  and,  like  all  insati- 
able monsters,  demands  all  or  nothing.  It  does 
not  admit  that  a  soldier  is  also  a  human  being,  who 
has  a  right  to  his  own  feelings  and  opinions,  his  own 
inclinations  and  ideas.  No,  patriotism  can  not  admit 
of  that.  That  is  the  lesson  which  Buwalda  was  made 
to  learn;  made  to  learn  at  a  rather  costly,  though  not 
at  a  useless  price.  When  he  returned  to  freedom,  he 
had  lost  his  position  in  the  army,  but  he  regained  his 
self-respect.  After  all,  that  is  worth  three  years  of 

A  writer  on  the  military  conditions  of  America, 
in  a  recent  article,  commented  on  the  power  of  the 
military  man  over  the  civilian  in  Germany.  He  said, 
among  other  things,  that  if  our  Republic  had  no  other 
meaning  than  to  guarantee  all  citizens  equal  rights, 
it  would  have  just  cause  for  existence.  I  am  con- 
vinced that  the  writer  was  not  in  Colorado  during  the 
patriotic  regime  of  General  Bell.  He  probably  would 
have  changed  his  mind  had  he  seen  how,  in  the  name 
of  patriotism  and  the  Republic,  men  were  thrown  into 
bull-pens,  dragged  about,  driven  across  the  border, 
and  subjected  to  all  kinds  of  indignities.  Nor  is  that 
Colorado  incident  the  only  one  in  the  growth  of  mili- 


tary  power  in  the  United  States.  There  is  hardly  a 
strike  where  troops  and  mihtia  do  not  come  to  the 
rescue  of  those  in  power,  and  where  they  do  not  act  as 
arrogantly  and  brutally  as  do  the  men  wearing  the 
Kaiser's  uniform.  Then,  too,  we  have  the  Dick  mili- 
tary law.     Had  the  writer  forgotten  that? 

A  great  misfortune  with  most  of  our  writers  is 
that  they  are  absolutely  ignorant  on  current  events,  or 
that,  lacking  honesty,  they  will  not  speak  of  these 
matters.  And  so  it  has  come  to  pass  that  the  Dick 
military  law  was  rushed  through  Congress  with  little 
discussion  and  still  less  publicity, — a  law  which  gives 
the  President  the  power  to  turn  a  peaceful  citizen  into 
a  bloodthirsty  man-killer,  supposedly  for  the  defense 
of  the  country,  in  reality  for  the  protection  of  the 
interests  of  that  particular  party  whose  mouthpiece 
the  President  happens  to  be. 

Our  writer  claims  that  militarism  can  never 
become  such  a  power  in  America  as  abroad,  since  it  is 
voluntary  with  us,  while  compulsory  in  the  Old  World. 
Two  very  important  facts,  however,  the  gentleman 
forgets  to  consider.  First,  that  conscription  has 
created  in  Europe  a  deep-seated  hatred  of  militarism 
among  all  classes  of  society.  Thousands  of  young 
recruits  enlist  under  protest  and,  once  in  the  army, 
they  will  use  every  possible  means  to  desert.  Second, 
that  it  is  the  compulsory  feature  of  militarism  which 
has  created  a  tremendous  anti-militarist  movement, 
feared  by  European  Powers  far  more  than  anything 
else.  After  all,  the  greatest  bulwark  of  capitalism  is 
militarism.  The  very  moment  the  latter  is  under- 
mined, capitalism  will  totter.    True,  we  have  no  con- 


scription ;  that  is,  men  are  not  usually  forced  to  enlist 
in  the  army,  but  we  have  developed  a  far  more  exact- 
ing and  rigid  force — necessity.  Is  it  not  a  fact  that 
during  industrial  depressions  there  is  a  tremendous 
increase  in  the  number  of  enlistments?  The  trade  of 
militarism  may  not  be  either  lucrative  or  honorable, 
but  it  is  better  than  tramping  the  country  in  search  of 
work,  standing  in  the  bread  line,  or  sleeping  in  munic- 
ipal lodging  houses.  After  all,  it  means  thirteen  dol- 
lars per  month,  three  m.eals  a  day,  and  a  place  to  sleep. 
Yet  even  necessity  is  not  sufficiently  strong  a  factor  to 
bring  into  the  army  an  element  of  character  and  man- 
hood. No  wonder  our  military  authorities  complain 
of  the  "poor  material"  enlisting  in  the  army  and  navy. 
This  admission  is  a  very  encouraging  sign.  It  proves 
that  there  is  still  enough  of  the  spirit  of  independence 
and  love  of  liberty  left  in  the  average  American  to 
risk  starvation  rather  than  don  the  uniform. 

Thinking  men  and  women  the  world  over  are 
beginning  to  realize  that  patriotism  is  too  narrow  and 
limited  a  conception  to  meet  the  necessities  of  our 
time.  The  centralization  of  power  has  brought  into 
being  an  international  feeling  of  solidarity  among  the 
oppressed  nations  of  the  world;  a  solidarity  which 
represents  a  greater  harmony  of  interests  between  the 
workingman  of  America  and  his  brothers  abroad  than 
between  the  American  miner  and  his  exploiting  com- 
patriot; a  solidarity  which  fears  not  foreign  invasion, 
because  it  is  bringing  all  'the  workers  to  the  point 
when  they  will  say  to  their  masters,  "Go  and  do  your 
own  killing.     We  have  done  it  long  enough  for  you." 

This  solidarity  is  awakening  the  consciousness  of 


even  the  soldiers,  they,  too,  being  flesh  of  the  flesh 
of  the  great  human  family.  A  solidarity  that  has 
proven  infallible  more  than  once  during  past  struggles, 
and  which  has  been  the  impetus  inducing  the  Parisian 
soldiers,  during  the  Commune  of  1871,  to  refuse  to 
obey  when  ordered  to  shoot  their  brothers.  It  has 
given  courage  to  the  men  who  mutinied  on  Russian 
warships  during  recent  years.  It  will  eventually  bring 
about  the  uprising  of  all  the  oppressed  and  down- 
trodden against  their  international  exploiters. 

The  proletariat  of  Europe  has  realized  the  great 
force  of  that  solidarity  and  has,  as  a  result,  inaugu- 
rated a  war  against  patriotism  and  its  bloody  spectre, 
militarism.  Thousands  of  men  fill  the  prisons  of 
France,  Germany,  Russia,  and  the  Scandinavian 
countries,  because  they  dared  to  defy  the  ancient 
superstition.  Nor  is  the  movement  limited  to  the 
working  class;  it  has  embraced  representatives  in  all 
stations  of  life,  its  chief  exponents  being  men  and 
women  prominent  in  art,  science,  and  letters. 

America  will  have  to  follow  suit.  The  spirit  of 
militarism  has  already  permeated  all  walks  of  life. 
Indeed,  I  am  convinced  that  militarism  is  growing  a 
greater  danger  here  than  anywhere  else,  because  of 
the  many  bribes  capitalism  holds  out  to  those  whom 
it  wishes  to  destroy. 

The  beginning  has  already  been  made  in  the 
schools.  Evidently  the  government  holds  to  the 
Jesuitical  conception,  "Give  me  the  child  mind,  and 
I  will  mould  the  man."  Children  are  trained  in  mili- 
tary tactics,  the  glory  of  military  achievements 
extolled  in  the  curriculum,  and  the  youthful  minds 


perverted  to  suit  the  government.  Further,  the  youth 
of  the  country  is  appealed  to  in  glaring  posters  to  join 
the  army  and  navy.  "A  fine  chance  to  see  the  world !" 
cries  the  governmental  huckster.  Thus  innocent  boys 
are  morally  shanghaied  into  patriotism,  and  the  mili- 
tary Moloch  strides  conquering  through  the  Nation. 

The  American  workingman  has  suffered  so  much 
at  the  hands  of  the  soldier.  State  and  Federal,  that  he 
is  quite  justified  in  his  disgust  with,  and  his  opposition 
to,  the  uniformed  parasite.  However,  mere  denuncia- 
tion will  not  solve  this  great  problem.  What  we  need 
is  a  propaganda  of  education  for  the  soldier:  anti- 
patriotic  literature  that  will  enlighten  him  as  to  the 
real  horrors  of  his  trade,  and  that  will  awaken  his 
consciousness  to  his  true  relation  to  the  man  to  whose 
labor  he  owes  his  very  existence. 

It  is  precisely  this  that  the  authorities  fear  most. 
It  is  already  high  treason  for  a  soldier  to  attend  a 
radical  meeting.  No  doubt  they  will  also  stamp  it 
high  treason  for  a  soldier  to  read  a  radical  pamphlet. 
But,  then,  has  not  authority  from  time  immemorial 
stamped  every  step  of  progress  as  treasonable? 
Those,  however,  who  earnestly  strive  for  social  recon- 
struction can  well  afford  to  face  all  that;  for  it  is 
probably  even  more  important  to  carry  the  truth  into 
the  barracks  than  into  the  factory.  When  we  have 
undermined  the  patriotic  lie,  we  shall  have  cleared  the 
path  for  that  great  structure  wherein  all  nationalities 
shall  be  united  into  a  universal  brotherhood, — a  truly 



Experience  has  come  to  be  considered  the  best 
school  of  life.  The  man  or  woman  who  does  not 
learn  some  vital  lesson  in  that  school  is  looked  upon 
as  a  dunce  indeed.  Yet  strange  to  say,  that  though 
organized  institutions  continue  perpetuating  errors, 
though  they  learn  nothing  from  experience,  we 
acquiesce,  as  a  matter  of  course. 

There  lived  and  worked  in  Barcelona  a  man  by 
the  name  of  Francisco  Ferrer.  A  teacher  of  children 
he  was,  known  and  loved  by  his  people.  Outside 
of  Spain  only  the  cultured  few  knew  of  Francisco 
Ferrer's  work.  To  the  world  at  large  this  teacher 
was  non-existent. 

On  the  first  of  September,  1909,  the  Spanish 
government — at  the  behest  of  the  Catholic  Church — 
arrested  Francisco  Ferrer.  On  the  thirteenth  of 
October,  after  a  mock  trial,  he  was  placed  in  the  ditch 
at  Montjuich  prison,  against  the  hideous  wall  of 
many  sighs,  and  shot  dead.  Instantly  Ferrer,  the 
obscure  teacher,  became  a  universal  figure,  blazing 
forth  the  indignation  and  wrath  of  the  whole  civilized 
world  against  the  wanton  murder. 


The  killing  of  Francisco  Ferrer  was  not  the  first 
crime  committed  by  the  Spanish  government  and 
the  Catholic  Church.  The  history  of  these  institu- 
tions is  one  long  stream  of  fire  and  blood.  Still 
they  have  not  learned  through  experience,  nor  yet 
come  to  realize  that  every  frail  being  slain  by  Church 
and  State  grows  and  grows  into  a  mighty  giant,  who 
will  some  day  free  humanity  from  their  perilous  hold. 

Francisco  Ferrer  was  born  in  1859,  of  humble 
parents.  They  were  Catholics,  and  therefore  hoped 
to  raise  their  son  in  the  same  faith.  They  did  not 
know  that  the  boy  was  to  become  the  harbinger  of 
a  great  truth,  that  his  mind  would  refuse  to  travel 
in  the  old  path.  At  an  early  age  Ferrer  began  to 
question  the  faith  of  his  fathers.  He  demanded  to 
know  how  it  is  that  the  God  who  spoke  to  him  of 
goodness  and  love  would  mar  the  sleep  of  the  inno- 
cent child  with  dread  and  awe  of  tortures,  of  suffer- 
ing, of  hell.  Alert  and  of  a  vivid  and  investigating 
mind,  it  did  not  take  him  long  to  discover  the  hideous- 
ness  of  that  black  monster,  the  Catholic  Church.  He 
would  have  none  of  it. 

Francisco  Ferrer  was  not  only  a  doubter,  a 
searcher  for  truth;  he  was  also  a  rebel.  His  spirit 
would  rise  in  just  indignation  against  the  iron  regime 
of  his  country,  and  when  a  band  of  rebels,  led  by 
the  brave  patriot  General  Villacampa,  under  the 
banner  of  the  Republican  ideal,  made  an  onslaught 
on  that  regime,  none  was  more  ardent  a  fighter  than 
young  Francisco  Ferrer.  The  Republican  ideal, — I 
hope  no  one  will  confound  it  with  the  Republicanism 
of  this  country.     Whatever  objection  I,  as  an  An- 


arclilst,  have  to  the  Republicans  of  Latin  countries, 
I  know  they  tower  high  above  that  corrupt  and  reac- 
tionary party  which,  in  America,  is  destroying  every 
vestige  of  hberty  and  justice.  One  has  but  to  think 
of  the  Mazzinis,  the  Garibaldis,  the  scores  of  others, 
to  realize  that  their  efforts  were  directed,  not  merely 
against  the  overthrow  of  despotism,  but  particularly 
against  the  Catholic  Church,  which  from  its  very 
inception  has  been  the  enemy  of  all  progress  and 

In  America  it  is  just  the  reverse.  Republicanism 
stands  for  vested  rights,  for  imperialism,  for  graft, 
for  the  annihilation  of  every  semblance  of  liberty. 
Its  ideal  is  the  oily,  creepy  respectability  of  a  Mc- 
Kinley,  and  the  brutal  arrogance  of  a  Roosevelt. 

The  Spanish  republican  rebels  were  subdued.  It 
takes  more  than  one  brave  effort  to  split  the  rock 
of  ages,  to  cut  off  the  head  of  that  hydra  monster, 
the  Catholic  Church  and  the  Spanish  throne.  Arrest, 
persecution,  and  punishment  followed  the  heroic  at- 
tempt of  the  little  band.  Those  who  could  escape 
the  bloodhounds  had  to  flee  for  safety  to  foreign 
shores.  Francisco  Ferrer  was  among  the  latter.  He 
went  to  France. 

How  his  soul  must  have  expanded  in  the  new 
land!  France,  the  cradle  of  liberty,  of  ideas,  of  ac- 
tion. Paris,  the  ever  young,  intense  Paris,  with  her 
pulsating  life,  after  the  gloom  of  his  own  belated 
country, — how  she  must  have  inspired  him.  What 
opportunities,  what  a  glorious  chance  for  a  young 

Francisco  Ferrer  lost  no  time.    Like  one  famished 


he  threw  himself  into  the  various  liberal  movements, 
met  all  kinds  of  people,  learned,  absorbed,  and  grew. 
While  there,  he  also  saw  in  operation  the  Modern 
School,  which  was  to  play  such  an  important  and 
fatal  part  in  his  life. 

The  Modern  School  in  France  was  founded  long 
before  Ferrer's  time.  Its  originator,  though  on  a 
small  scale,  was  that  sweet  spirit  Louise  Michel. 
Whether  consciously  or  unconsciously,  our  own  great 
Louise  felt  long  ago  that  the  future  belongs  to  the 
young  generation ;  that  unless  the  young  be  rescued 
from  that  mind  and  soul-destroying  institution,  the 
bourgeois  school,  social  evils  will  continue  to  exist. 
Perhaps  she  thought,  with  Ibsen,  that  the  atmosphere 
is  saturated  wuth  ghosts,  that  the  adult  man  and 
woman  have  so  many  superstitions  to  overcome.  No 
sooner  do  they  outgrow  the  deathlike  grip  of  one 
spook,  lo !  they  find  themselves  in  the  thraldom  of 
ninety-nine  other  spooks.  Thus  but  a  few  reach  the 
mountain  peak  of  complete  regeneration. 

The  child,  however,  has  no  traditions  to  over- 
come. Its  mind  is  not  burdened  with  set  ideas,  its 
heart  has  not  grown  cold  with  class  and  caste  dis- 
tinctions. The  child  is  to  the  teacher  what  clay  is 
to  the  sculptor.  Whether  the  world  will  receive  a 
work  of  art  or  a  wretched  imitation,  depends  to  a 
large  extent  on  the  creative  power  of  the  teacher. 

Louise  Michel  was  pre-eminently  qualified  to  meet 
the  child's  soul  cravings.  Was  she  not  herself  of  a 
childlike  nature,  so  sweet  and  tender,  unsophisticated 
and  generous?  The  soul  of  Louise  burned  always 
at  white  heat  over  every  social  injustice.     She  was 


invariably  in  the  front  ranks  whenever  the  people 
of  Paris  rebelled  against  some  wrong.  And  as  she 
was  made  to  suffer  imprisonment  for  her  great  de- 
votion to  the  oppressed,  the  little  school  on  Mont- 
martre  was  soon  no  more.  But  the  seed  was  planted 
and  has  since  borne  fruit  in  many  cities  of  France. 

The  most  important  venture  of  a  Modern  School 
was  that  of  the  great  young  old  man  Paul  Robin. 
Together  with  a  few  friends  he  established  a  large 
school  at  Cempuis,  a  beautiful  place  near  Paris.  Paul 
Robin  aimed  at  a  higher  ideal  than  merely  modern 
ideas  in  education.  He  wanted  to  demonstrate  by 
actual  facts  that  the  burgeois  conception  of  heredity 
is  but  a  mere  pretext  to  exempt  society  from  its 
terrible  crimes  against  the  young.  The  contention 
that  the  child  must  suffer  for  the  sins  of  the  fathers, 
that  it  must  continue  in  poverty  and  filth,  that  it  must 
grow  up  a  drunkard  or  criminal,  just  because  its 
parents  left  it  no  other  legacy,  was  too  preposterous 
to  the  beautiful  spirit  of  Paul  Robin.  He  believed 
that  whatever  part  heredity  may  play,  there  are  other 
factors  equally  great,  if  not  greater,  that  may  and 
will  eradicate  or  minimize  the  so-called  first  cause. 
Proper  economic  and  social  environment,  the  breath 
and  freedom  of  nature,  healthy  exercise,  love  and 
sympathy,  and,  above  all,  a  deep  understanding  for 
the  needs  of  the  child — these  would  destroy  the  cruel, 
unjust,  and  criminal  stigma  imposed  on  the  innocent 

Paul  Robin  did  not  select  his  children;  he  did 
not  go  to  the  so-called  best  parents:  he  took  his 
material  wherever  he  could  find  it.     From  the  street, 


the  hovels,  the  orphan  and  foundling  asylums,  the 
reformatories,  from  all  those  gray  and  hideous  places 
where  a  benevolent  society  hides  its  victims  in  order 
to  pacify  its  guilty  conscience.  He  gathered  all  the 
dirty,  filthy,  shivering  little  waifs  his  place  would 
hold,  and  brought  them  to  Cempuis.  There,  sur- 
rounded by  nature's  own  glory,  free  and  unrestrained, 
well  fed,  clean  kept,  deeply  loved  and  understood,  the 
little  human  plants  began  to  grow,  to  blossom,  to 
develop  beyond  even  the  expectations  of  their  friend 
and  teacher,  Paul  Robin. 

The  children  grew  and  developed  into  self-reliant, 
liberty-loving  men  and  women.  What  greater  danger 
to  the  institutions  that  make  the  poor  in  order  to  per- 
petuate the  poor?  Cempuis  was  closed  by  the  French 
government  on  the  charge  of  co-education,  which  is 
prohibited  in  France.  However,  Cempuis  had  been 
in  operation  long  enough  to  prove  to  all  advanced 
educators  its  tremendous  possibilities,  and  to  serve 
as  an  impetus  for  modern  methods  of  education,  that 
are  slowly  but  inevitably  undermining  the  present 

Cempuis  was  followed  by  a  great  number  of  other 
educational  attempts, — among  them,  by  Madelaine 
Vernet,  a  gifted  writer  and  poet,  author  of  V Amour 
Libre,  and  Sebastian  Faure,  with  his  La  Ruche* 
which  I  visited  while  in  Paris,  in  1907. 

Several  years  ago  Comrade  Faure  bought  the  land 
on  which  he  built  his  La  Ruche.  In  a  comparatively 
short  time  he  succeeded  in  transforming  the  former 

*  The  Beehive. 


wild,  uncultivated  country  into  a  blooming  spot,  hav- 
ing all  the  appearance  of  a  well-kept  farm.  A  large, 
square  court,  enclosed  by  three  buildings,  and  a  broad 
path  leading  to  the  garden  and  orchards,  greet  the 
eye  of  the  visitor.  The  garden,  kept  as  only  a  French- 
man knows  how,  furnishes  a  large  variety  of  veg- 
etables for  La  Ruche. 

Sebastian  Faure  is  of  the  opinion  that  if  the  child 
is  subjected  to  contradictory  influences,  its  develop- 
ment suffers  in  consequence.  Only  when  the  ma- 
terial needs,  the  hygiene  of  the  home,  and  intellectual 
environment  are  harmonious,  can  the  child  grow  into 
a  healthy,  free  being. 

Referring  to  his  school,  Sebastian  Faure  has  this 
to  say: 

"I  have  taken  twenty-four  children  of  both  sexes, 
mostly  orphans,  or  those  whose  parents  are  too  poor 
to  pay.  They  are  clothed,  housed,  and  educated  at 
my  expense.  Till  their  twelfth  year  they  will  receive 
a  sound  elementary  education.  Between  the  age  of 
twelve  and  fifteen — their  studies  still  continuing — 
they  are  to  be  taught  some  trade,  in  keeping  with  their 
individual  disposition  and  abilities.  After  that  they 
are  at  liberty  to  leave  La  Ruche  to  begin  life  in  the 
outside  world,  with  the  assurance  that  they  may  at 
any  time  return  to  La  Ruche,  where  they  will  be 
received  with  open  arms  and  welcomed  as  parents  do 
their  beloved  children.  Then,  if  they  wish  to  work  at 
our  place,  they  may  do  so  under  the  following  condi- 
tions :  One  third  of  the  product  to  cover  his  or  her 
expenses  of  maintenance,  another  third  to  go  towards 
the  general  fund  set  aside  for  accommodating  new 


children,  and  the  last  third  to  be  devoted  to  the 
personal  use  of  the  child,  as  he  or  she  may  see  fit. 

"The  health  of  the  children  who  are  now  in  my 
care  is  perfect.  Pure  air,  nutritious  food,  physical 
exercise  in  the  open,  long  walks,  observation  of 
hygienic  rules,  the  short  and  interesting  method  of 
instruction,  and,  above  all,  our  affectionate  under- 
standing and  care  of  the  children,  have  produced 
admirable  physical  and  mental  results. 

"It  would-be  unjust  to  claim  that  our  pupils  have 
accomplished  wonders;  yet,  considering  that  they  be- 
long to  the  average,  having  had  no  previous  oppor- 
tunities, the  results  are  very  gratifying  indeed.  The 
most  important  thing  they  have  acquired — a  rare  trait 
with  ordinary  school  children — is  the  love  of  study, 
the  desire  to  know,  to  be  informed.  They  have 
learned  a  new  method  of  work,  one  that  quickens  the 
memory  and  stimulates  the  imagination.  We  make  a 
particular  effort  to  awaken  the  child's  interest  in  his 
surroundings,  to  make  him  realize  the  importance  of 
observation,  investigation,  and  reflection,  so  that  when 
the  children  reach  maturity,  they  wouL_  not  be  deaf 
and  blind  to  the  things  about  them.  Our  children 
never  accept  anything  in  blind  faith,  without  inquiry 
as  to  why  and  wherefore;  nor  do  they  feel  satisfied 
until  their  questions  are  thoroughly  answered.  Thus 
their  minds  are  free  from  doubts  and  fear  resultant 
from  incomplete  or  untruthful  replies;  it  is  the  latter 
which  warp  the  growth  of  the  child,  and  create  a 
lack  of  confidence  in  himself  and  those  about  him. 

'Tt  is  surprising  how  frank  and  kind  and  affec- 
tionate our  little  ones  are  to  each  other.    The  harmony 


between  themselves  and  the  adults  at  La  Ruche  is 
highly  encouraging.  We  should  feel  at  fault  if  the 
children  were  to  fear  or  honor  us  merely  because  we 
are  their  elders.  We  leave  nothing  undone  to  gain 
their  confidence  and  love;  that  accomplished,  under- 
standing will  replace  duty;  confidence,  fear;  and 
affection,  severity. 

"No  one  has  yet  fully  realized  the  wealth  of  sym- 
pathy, kindness,  and  generosity  hidden  in  the  soul 
of  the  child.  The  effort  of  every  true  educator  should 
be  to  unlock  that  treasure — to  stimulate  the  child's 
impulses,  and  call  forth  the  best  and  noblest  tenden- 
cies. What  greater  reward  can  there  be  for  one 
whose  life-work  is  to  watch  over  the  growth  of  the 
human  plant,  than  to  see  its  nature  unfold  its  petals, 
and  to  observe  it  develop  into  a  true  individuality. 
My  comrades  at  La  Ruche  look  for  no  greater 
reward,  and  it  is  due  to  them  and  their  efforts,  even 
more  than  to  my  own,  that  our  human  garden  prom- 
ises to  bear  beautiful  fruit."* 

Regarding  the  subject  of  history  and  the  prevail- 
ing old  methods  of  instruction,  Sebastian  Faure  said : 

"We  explain  to  our  children  that  true  history  is 
yet  to  be  written, — the  story  of  those  who  have  died, 
unknown,  in  the  effort  to  aid  humanity  to  greater 

Francisco  Ferrer  could  not  escape  this  great  wave 
of  Modern  School  attempts.  He  saw  its  possibilities, 
not  merely  in  theoretic  form,  but  in  their  practical 
application  to  every-day  needs.     He  must  have  real- 

*  Mother  Earth,  1907. 
t  Ibid. 


ized  that  Spain,  more  than  any  other  country,  stands 
in  need  of  just  such  schools,  if  it  is  ever  to  throw 
off  the  double  yoke  of  priest  and  soldier. 

When  we  consider  that  the  entire  system  of  edu- 
cation in  Spain  is  in  the  hands  of  the  Catholic  Church, 
and  when  we  further  remember  the  Catholic  formula, 
"To  inculcate  Catholicism  in  the  m.ind  of  the  child 
until  it  is  nine  years  of  age  is  to  ruin  it  forever  for 
any  other  idea,"  we  will  understand  the  tremendous 
task  of  Ferrer  in  bringing  the  new  light  to  his  people. 
Fate  soon  assisted  him  in  realizing  his  great  dream. 

Mile.  Meunier,  a  pupil  of  Francisco  Ferrer,  and 
a  lady  of  wealth,  became  interested  in  the  Modern 
School  project.  When  she  died,  she  left  Ferrer  some 
valuable  property  and  twelve  thousand  francs  yearly 
income  for  the  School. 

It  is  said  that  mean  souls  can  conceive  of 
naught  but  mean  ideas.  If  so,  the  contemptible 
methods  of  the  Catholic  Church  to  blackguard 
Ferrer's  character,  in  order  to  justify  her  own  black 
crime,  can  readily  be  explained.  Thus  the  lie  was 
spread  in  American  Catholic  papers  that  Ferrer  used 
his  intimacy  with  Mile.  Meunier  to  get  possession  of 
her  money. 

Personally,  I  hold  that  the  intimacy,  of  what- 
ever nature,  between  a  man  and  a  woman,  is  their 
own  affair,  their  sacred  own.  I  would  therefore  not 
lose  a  word  in  referring  to  the  matter,  if  it  were 
not  one  of  the  many  dastardly  lies  circulated  about 
Ferrer.  Of  course,  those  who  know  the  purity  of 
the  Catholic  clergy  will  understand  the  insinuation. 
Have  the  Catholic  priests  ever  looked  upon  woman 


as  anything  but  a  sex  commodity?  The  historical 
data  regarding  the  discoveries  in  the  cloisters  and 
monasteries  will  bear  me  out  in  that.  How,  then, 
are  they  to  understand  the  co-operation  of  a  man  and 
a  woman,  except  on  a  sex  basis? 

As  a  matter  of  fact.  Mile.  Meunier  was  consid- 
erably Ferrer's  senior.  Having  spent  her  childhood 
and  girlhood  with  a  miserly  father  and  a  submissive 
mother,  she  could  easily  appreciate  the  necessity  of 
love  and  joy  in  child  life.  She  must  have  seen  that 
Francisco  Ferrer  was  a  teacher,  not  college,  machine, 
or  diploma-made,  but  one  endowed  with  genius  for 
that  calling. 

Equipped  with  knov/ledge,  with  experience,  and 
with  the  necessary  means;  above  all,  imbued  with 
the  divine  fire  of  his  mission,  our  Comrade  came  back 
to  Spain,  and  there  began  his  life's  work.  On  the 
ninth  of  September,  1901,  the  first  Modern  School 
was  opened.  It  was  enthusiastically  received  by  the 
people  of  Barcelona,  who  pledged  their  support.  In 
a  short  address  at  the  opening  of  the  School,  Ferrer 
submitted  his  program  to  his  friends.  He  said :  "I 
am  not  a  speaker,  not  a  propagandist,  not  a  fighter. 
I  am  a  teacher;  I  love  children  above  everything. 
I  think  I  understand  them.  I  want  my  contribution 
to  the  cause  of  liberty  to  be  a  young  generation  ready 
to  meet  a  new  era." 

He  was  cautioned  by  his  friends  to  be  careful  in 
his  opposition  to  the  Catholic  Church.  They  knew 
to  what  lengths  she  would  go  to  dispose  of  an  enemy. 
Ferrer,  too,  knew.     But,  like  Brand,  he  believed  in 


all  or  nothing.  He  would  not  erect  the  Modern 
School  on  the  same  old  lie.  He  would  be  frank  and 
honest  and  open  with  the  children. 

Francisco  Ferrer  became  a  marked  man.  From 
the  very  first  day  of  the  opening  of  the  School,  he 
was  shadowed.  The  school  building  was  watched, 
his  little  home  in  Mangat  was  watched.  He  was  fol- 
lowed every  step,  even  when  he  went  to  France  or 
England  to  confer  with  his  colleagues.  He  was  a 
marked  man,  and  it  was  only  a  question  of  time  when 
the  lurking  enemy  would  tighten  the  noose. 

It  succeeded,  almost,  in  1906,  when  Ferrer  was 
implicated  in  the  attempt  on  the  life  of  Alfonso.  The 
evidence  exonerating  him  was  too  strong  even  for 
the  black  crows  ;*  they  had  to  let  him  go — not  for 
good,  however.  They  waited.  Oh,  they  can  wait, 
when  they  have  set  themselves  to  trap  a  victim. 

The  moment  came  at  last,  during  the  anti-military 
uprising  in  Spain,  in  July,  1909.  One  will  have  to 
search  in  vain  the  annals  of  revolutionary  history  to 
find  a  more  remarkable  protest  against  militarism. 
Having  been  soldier-ridden  for  centuries,  the  people 
of  Spain  could  stand  the  yoke  no  longer.  They 
would  refuse  to  participate  in  useless  slaughter. 
They  saw  no  reason  for  aiding  a  despotic  government 
in  subduing  and  oppressing  a  small  people  fighting 
for  their  independence,  as  did  the  brave  Riffs.  No, 
they  would  not  bear  arms  against  them. 

For  eighteen  hundred  years  the  Catholic  Church 
has  preached  the  gospel  of  peace.  Yet,  when  the 
people  actually  wanted  to  make  this  gospel  a  living 

*  Black  crows :  The  Catholic  clergy. 


reality,  she  urged  the  authorities  to  force  them  to 
bear  arms.  Thus  the  dynasty  of  Spain  followed  the 
murderous  methods  of  the  Russian  dynasty, — the 
people  were  forced  to  the  battlefield. 

Then,  and  not  until  then,  was  their  power  of 
endurance  at  an  end.  Then,  and  not  until  then,  did 
the  workers  of  Spain  turn  against  their  masters, 
against  those  who,  like  leeches,  had  drained  their 
strength,  their  very  life-blood.  Yes,  they  attacked 
the  churches  and  the  priests,  but  if  the  latter  had  a 
thousand  lives,  they  could  not  possibly  pay  for  the 
terrible  outrages  and  crimes  perpetrated  upon  the 
Spanish  people. 

Francisco  Ferrer  was  arrested  on  the  first  of 
September,  1909.  Until  October  first  his  friends 
and  comrades  did  not  even  know  what  had  become 
of  him.  On  that  day  a  letter  was  received  by 
L'Humanite  from  which  can  be  learned  the  whole 
mockery  of  the  trial.  And  the  next  day  his  com- 
panion, Soledad  Villafranca,  received  the  following 
letter : 

"No  reason  to  worry;  you  know  I  am  abso- 
lutely innocent.  Today  I  am  particularly  hopeful 
and  joyous.  It  is  the  first  time  I  can  write  to  you, 
and  the  first  time  since  my  arrest  that  I  can  bathe 
in  the  rays  of  the  sun,  streaming  generously 
through  my  cell  window.  You,  too,  must  be 

How  pathetic  that  Ferrer  should  have  believed, 
as  late  as  October  fourth,  that  he  would  not  be 
condemned  to  death.  Even  more  pathetic  that  his 
friends  and  comrades  should  once  more  have  made 


the  blunder  in  crediting  the  enemy  with  a  sense  o£ 
justice.  Time  and  again  they  had  placed  faith  in  the 
judicial  powers,  only  to  see  their  brothers  killed 
before  their  very  eyes.  They  made  no  preparation  to 
rescue  Ferrer,  not  even  a  protest  of  any  extent; 
nothing.  "Why,  it  is  impossible  to  condemn  Ferrer; 
he  is  innocent."  But  everything  is  possible  with  the 
Catholic  Church.  Is  she  not  a  practiced  henchman, 
whose  trials  of  her  enemies  are  the  worst  mockery  of 

On  October  fourth  Ferrer  sent  the  following 
letter  to  L'Humanite: 

"The  Prison  Cell,  Oct.  4,  1909. 

"My  dear  Friends — Notwithstanding  most  absolute 
innocence,  the  prosecutor  demands  the  death  penalty, 
based  on  denunciations  of  the  police,  representing  me 
as  the  chief  of  the  world's  Anarchists,  directing  the 
labor  syndicates  of  France,  and  guilty  of  conspiracies 
and  insurrections  everyAvhere,  and  declaring  that  my 
voyages  to  London  and  Paris  were  undertaken  with 
no  other  object. 

"With  such  infamous  lies  they  are  trying  to  kill 

"The  messenger  is  about  to  depart  and  I  have  not 
time  for  more.  All  the  evidence  presented  to  the 
investigating  judge  by  the  police  is  nothing  but  a 
tissue  of  lies  and  calumnious  insinuations.  But  no 
proofs  against  me,  having  done  nothing  at  all. 


October  thirteenth,  1909,  Ferrer's  heart,  so  brave, 
so  staunch,  so  loyal,  was  stilled.     Poor  fools!     The 


last  agonized  throb  of  that  heart  had  barely  died 
away  when  it  began  to  beat  a  hundredfold  in  the 
hearts  of  the  civilized  world,  until  it  grew  into  ter- 
rific thunder,  hurling  forth  its  malediction  upon  the 
instigators  of  the  black  crime.  Murderers  of  black 
garb  and  pious  mien,  to  the  bar  of  justice! 

Did  Francisco  Ferrer  participate  in  the  anti-mil- 
itary uprising?  According  to  the  first  indictment, 
which  appeared  in  a  Catholic  paper  in  Madrid,  signed 
by  the  Bishop  and  all  the  prelates  of  Barcelona,  he 
was  not  even  accused  of  participation.  The  indict- 
ment was  to  the  effect  that  Francisco  Ferrer  was 
guilty  of  having  organized  godless  schools,  and  hav- 
ing circulated  godless  literature.  But  in  the  twentieth 
century  men  can  not  be  burned  merely  for  their  god- 
less beliefs.  Something  else  had  to  be  devised ;  hence 
the  charge  of  instigating  the  uprising. 

In  nO  authentic  source  so  far  investigated  could 
a  single  proof  be  found  to  connect  Ferrer  with  the 
uprising.  But  then,  no  proofs  were  wanted,  or  ac- 
cepted, by  the  authorities.  There  were  seventy-two 
witnesses,  to  be  sure,  but  their  testimony  was  taken 
on  paper.  They  never  were  confronted  with  Ferrer, 
or  he  with  them. 

Is  it  psychologically  possible  that  Ferrer  should 
have  participated  ?  I  do  not  believe  it  is,  and  here  are 
my  reasons.  Francisco  Ferrer  was  not  only  a  great 
teacher,  but  he  was  also  undoubtedly  a  marvelous 
organizer.  In  eight  years,  between  190 1- 1909,  he  had 
organized  in  Spain  one  hundred  and  nine  schools, 
besides  inducing  the  liberal  element  of  his  country 
to  organize  three  hundred  and  eight  other  schools. 


In  connection  with  his  own  school  work,  Ferrer  had 
equipped  a  modern  printing  plant,  organized  a  staff 
of  translators,  and  spread  broadcast  one  hundred  and 
fifty  thousand  copies  of  modern  scientific  and  so- 
ciologic  works,  not  to  forget  the  large  quantity  of 
rationalist  text  books.  Surely  none  but  the  most 
methodical  and  efficient  organizer  could  have  accom- 
plished such  a  feat. 

On  the  other  hand,  it  was  absolutely  proven  that 
the  anti-military  uprising  was  not  at  all  organized; 
that  it  came  as  a  surprise  to  the  people  them- 
selves, like  a  great  many  revolutionary  waves  on 
previous  occasions.  The  people  of  Barcelona,  for 
instance,  had  the  city  in  their  control  for  four  days, 
and,  according  to  the  statement  of  tourists,  greater 
order  and  peace  never  prevailed.  Of  course,  the 
people  were  so  little  prepared  that  when  the  time 
came,  they  did  not  know  what  to  do.  In  this  regard 
they  were  like  the  people  of  Paris  during  the  Com- 
mune of  1 87 1.  They,  too,  were  unprepared.  While 
they  were  starving,  they  protected  the  warehouses 
filled  to  the  brim  with  provisions.  They  placed  sen- 
tinels to  guard  the  Bank  of  France,  where  the  bour- 
geoisie kept  the  stolen  money.  The  workers  of 
Barcelona,  too,  watched  over  the  spoils  of  their 

How  pathetic  is  the  stupidity  of  the  underdog; 
how  terribly  tragic!  But,  then,  have  not  his  fetters 
been  forged  so  deeply  into  his  flesh,  that  he  would 
not,  even  if  he  could,  break  them?  The  awe  of 
authority,  of  law,  of  private  property,  hundredfold 


burned  into  his  soul, — how  is  he  to  throw  it  off  un- 
prepared, unexpectedly  ? 

Can  anyone  assume  for  a  moment  that  a  man 
like  Ferrer  would  affiliate  himself  with  such  a  spon- 
taneous, unorganized  effort?  Would  he  not  have 
known  that  it  would  result  in  a  defeat,  a  disastrous 
defeat  for  the  people?  And  is  it  not  more  likely 
that  if  he  would  have  taken  part,  he,  the  experienced 
entrepreneur,  would  have  thoroughly  organized  the 
attempt?  If  all  other  oroofs  were  lacking,  that  one 
factor  would  be  sufficient  to  exonerate  Francisco 
Ferrer.     But  there  are  others  equally  convincing. 

For  the  very  date  of  the  outbreak,  July  twenty- 
fifth,  Ferrer  had  called  a  conference  of  his  teachers 
and  members  of  the  League  of  Rational  Education. 
It  was  to  consider  the  autumn  work,  and  particu- 
larly the  publication  of  Elisee  Reclus'  great  book, 
UHomme  et  la  Terre,  and  Peter  Kropotkin's  Great 
French  Revolution.  Is  it  at  all  likely,  is  it  at  all 
plausible  that  Ferrer,  knowing  of  the  uprising,  being 
a  party  to  it,  would  in  cold  blood  invite  his  friends 
and  colleagues  to  Barcelona  for  the  day  on  which  he 
realized  their  lives  would  be  endangered?  Surely, 
only  the  criminal,  vicious  mind  of  a  Jesuit  could 
credit  such  deliberate  murder. 

Francisco  Ferrer  had  his  life-work  mapped  out ; 
he  had  everything  to  lose  and  nothing  to  gain,  except 
ruin  and  disaster,  were  he  to  lend  assistance  to  the 
outbreak.  Not  that  he  doubted  the  justice  of  the 
people's  wrath ;  but  his  work,  his  hope,  his  very 
nature  was  directed  toward  another  goal. 

In  vain   are  the   frantic   efforts  of  the   Catholic 


Church,  her  lies,  falsehoods,  calumnies.  She  stands 
condemned  by  the  awakened  human  conscience  of 
having  once  more  repeated  the  foul  crimes  of  the 

Francisco  Ferrer  is  accused  of  teaching  the  chil- 
dren the  most  blood-curdling  ideas, — to  hate  God,  for 
instance.  Horrors !  Francisco  Ferrer  did  not  believe 
in  the  existence  of  a  God.  Why  teach  the  child  to 
hate  something  which  does  not  exist?  Is  it  not  more 
likely  that  he  took  the  children  out  into  the  open, 
that  he  showed  them  the  splendor  of  the  sunset,  the 
brilliancy  of  the  starry  heavens,  the  aw^e-inspiring 
wonder  of  the  mountains  and  seas ;  that  he  explained 
to  them  in  his  simple,  direct  w^ay  the  law  of  growth, 
of  development,  of  the  interrelation  of  all  life?  In 
so  doing  he  made  it  forever  impossible  for  the  poison- 
ous weeds  of  the  Catholic  Church  to  take  root  in  the 
child's  mind. 

It  has  been  stated  that  Ferrer  prepared  the  chil- 
dren to  destroy  the  rich.  Ghost  stories  of  old  maids. 
Is  it  not  more  likely  that  he  prepared  them  to  succor 
the  poor?  That  he  taught  them  the  humiliation,  the 
degradation,  the  awfulness  of  poverty,  which  is  a 
vice  and  not  a  virtue;  that  he  taught  the  dignity  and 
importance  of  all  creative  efforts,  which  alone  sustain 
life  and  build  character.  Is  it  not  the  best  and  most 
effective  way  of  bringing  into  the  proper  light  the 
absolute  uselessness  and  injury  of  parasitism? 

Last,  but  not  least,  Ferrer  is  charged  with  under- 
mining the  army  by  inculcating  anti-military  ideas. 
Indeed?  He  must  have  believed  with  Tolstoy  that 
war  is  legalized  slaughter,  that  it  perpetuates  hatred 


and  arrogance,  that  it  eats  away  the  heart  of  nations, 
and  turns  them  into  raving  maniacs. 

However,  we  have  Ferrer's  own  word  regarding 
his  ideas  of  modern  education : 

"I  would  Hke  to  call  the  attention  of  my  readers 
to  this  idea :  All  the  value  of  education  rests  in  the 
respect  for  the  physical,  intellectual,  and  moral  will 
of  the  child.  Just  as  in  science  no  demonstration  is 
possible  save  by  facts,  just  so  there  is  no  real  educa- 
tion save  that  which  is  exempt  from  all  dogmatism, 
which  leaves  to  the  child  itself  the  direction  of  its 
effort,  and  confines  itself  to  the  seconding  of  its 
effort.  Now,  there  is  nothing  easier  than  to  alter 
this  purpose,  and  nothing  harder  than  to  respect  it. 
Education  is  always  imposing,  violating,  constrain- 
ing; the  real  educator  is  he  who  can  best  protect 
the  child  against  his  (the  teacher's)  own  ideas,  his 
peculiar  whims ;  he  who  can  best  appeal  to  the  child's 
own  energies. 

"We  are  convinced  that  the  education  of  the  future 
will  be  of  an  entirely  spontaneous  nature ;  certainly 
we  can  not  as  yet  realize  it,  but  the  evolution  of 
methods  in  the  direction  of  a  wider  comprehension 
of  the  phenomena  of  life,  and  the  fact  that  all  ad- 
vances toward  perfection  mean  the  overcoming  of 
restraint, — all  this  indicates  that  we  are  in  the  right 
when  we  hope  for  the  deliverance  of  the  child 
through  science. 

"Let  us  not  fear  to  say  that  we  want  men  capable 
of  evolving  without  stopping,  capable  of  destroying 
and  renewing  their  environments  without  cessation, 
of  renewing  themselves  also;  men,  whose  intellectual 


independence  will  be  their  greatest  force,  who  will 
attach  themselves  to  nothing,  always  ready  to  accept 
what  is  best,  happy  in  the  triumph  of  new  ideas, 
aspiring  to  live  multiple  lives  in  one  life.  Society 
fears  such  men;  we  therefore  must  not  hope  that  it 
will  ever  want  an  education  able  to  give  them  to  us. 

"We  shall  follow  the  labors  of  the  scientists  who 
study  the  child  with  the  greatest  attention,  and  we 
shall  eagerly  seek  for  means  of  applying  their  ex- 
perience to  the  education  which  we  want  to  build  up, 
in  the  direction  of  an  ever  fuller  liberation  of  the 
individual.  But  how  can  we  attain  our  end?  Shall 
it  not  be  by  putting  ourselves  directly  to  the  work 
favoring  the  foundation  of  new  schools,  which  shall 
be  ruled  as  much  as  possible  by  this  spirit  of  liberty, 
which  we  forefeel  will  dominate  the  entire  work  of 
education  in  the  future? 

"A  trial  has  been  made,  which,  for  the  present,  has 
already  given  excellent  results.  We  can  destroy  all 
which  in  the  present  school  answers  to  the  organiza- 
tion of  constraint,  the  artificial  surroundings  by  which 
children  are  separated  from  nature  and  life,  the  in- 
tellectual and  moral  discipline  made  use  of  to  impose 
ready-made  ideas  upon  them,  beliefs  which  deprave 
and  annihilate  natural  bent.  Without  fear  of  deceiv- 
ing ourselves,  we  can  restore  the  child  to  the  environ- 
ment which  entices  it,  the  environment  of  nature  in 
which  he  will  be  in  contact  with  all  that  he  loves, 
and  in  which  impressions  of  life  will  replace  fastidi- 
ous book-learning.  If  we  did  no  more  than  that,  we 
should  already  have  prepared  in  great  part  the 
deliverance  of  the  child. 


"In  such  conditions  we  might  already  freely  apply 
the  data  of  science  and  labor  most  fruitfully. 

"1  know  very  well  we  could  not  thus  realize  all 
our  hopes,  that  we  should  often  be  forced,  for  lack 
of  knowledge,  to  employ  undesirable  methods ;  but 
a  certitude  would  sustain  us  in  our  efforts — namely, 
that  even  without  reaching  our  aim  completely  we 
should  do  more  and  better  in  our  still  imperfect  work 
than  the  present  school  accomplishes.  I  like  the  free 
spontaneity  of  a  child  who  knows  nothing,  better 
than  the  world-knowledge  and  intellectual  deformity 
of  a  child  who  has  been  subjected  to  our  present 

Had  Ferrer  actually  organized  the  riots,  had  he 
fought  on  the  barricades,  had  he  hurled  a  hundred 
bombs,  he  could  not  have  been  so  dangerous  to  the 
Catholic  Church  and  to  despotism,  as  with  his 
opposition  to  discipline  and  restraint.  Discipline  and 
restraint — are  they  not  back  of  all  the  evils  in  the 
world?  Slavery,  submission,  poverty,  all  misery,  all 
social  iniquities  result  from  discipline  and  restraint. 
Indeed,  Ferrer  was  dangerous.  Therefore  he  had  to 
die,  October  thirteenth,  1909,  in  the  ditch  of  Mont- 
juich.  Yet  who  dare  say  his  death  was  in  vain?  In 
view  of  the  tempestuous  rise  of  universal  indignation: 
Italy  naming  streets  in  memory  of  Francisco  Ferrer, 
Belgium  inaugurating  a  movement  to  erect  a  memo- 
rial; France  calling  to  the  front  her  most  illustrious 
men  to  resume  the  heritage  of  the  martyr;  England 
being  the    first   to   issue   a   biography;    all   countries 

*  Mother  Earth,  December,  1909. 


uniting  in  perpetuating  the  great  work  of  Francisco 
Ferrer;  America,  even,  tardy  always  in  progressive 
ideas,  giving  birth  to  a  Francisco  Ferrer  Associa- 
tion, its  aim  being  to  pubHsh  a  complete  life  of  Ferrer 
and  to  organize  Modern  Schools  all  over  the  coun- 
try,— in  the  face  of  this  international  revolutionary 
wave,  who  is  there  to  say  Ferrer  died  in  vain? 

That  death  at  Montjuich, — how  wonderful,  how 
dramatic  it  was,  how  it  stirs  the  human  soul.  Proud 
and  erect,  the  inner  eye  turned  toward  the  light, 
Francisco  Ferrer  needed  no  lying  priests  to  give  him 
courage,  nor  did  he  upbraid  a  phantom  for  forsaking 
him.  The  consciousness  that  his  executioners  repre- 
sented a  dying  age,  and  that  his  was  the  living  truth, 
sustained  him  in  the  last  heroic  moments. 

A  dying  age  and  a  living  truth, 
The  living  burying  the  dead. 


Speaking  of  Puritanism  in  relation  to  American  art, 
Mr.  Gutzon  Borglum  said:  "Puritanism  has  made  us 
self-centered  and  hypocritical  for  so  long,  that  sin- 
cerity and  reverence  for  what  is  natural  in  our 
impulses  have  been  fairly  bred  out  of  us,  with  the 
result  that  there  can  be  neither  truth  nor  individual- 
ity in  our  art." 

Mr.  Borglum  might  have  added  that  Puritanism 
has  made  life  itself  impossible.  More  than  art,  more 
than  estheticism,  life  represents  beauty  in  a  thousand 
variations ;  it  is,  indeed,  a  gigantic  panorama  of 
eternal  change.  Puritanism,  on  the  other  hand,  rests 
on  a  fixed  and  immovable  conception  of  life ;  it  is 
based  on  the  Calvinistic  idea  that  life  is  a  curse,  im- 
posed upon  man  by  the  wrath  of  God.  In  order  to 
redeem,  himself  man  must  do  constant  penance,  must 
repudiate  every  natural  and  healthy  impulse,  and 
turn  his  back  on  joy  and  beauty. 

Puritanism  celebrated  its  reign  of  terror  in  Eng- 
land during  the  sixteenth  and  seventeenth  centuries, 
destroying  and  crushing  every  manifestation  of  art 
and  culture.     It  was  the  spirit  of  Puritanism  which 


robbed  Shelley  of  his  children,  because  he  would  not 
bow  to  the  dicta  of  religion.  It  was  the  same  narrow 
spirit  which  alienated  Byron  from  his  native  land, 
because  that  great  genius  rebelled  against  the  monot- 
ony, dullness,  and  pettiness  of  his  country.  It  was 
Puritanism,  too,  that  forced  some  of  England's  freest 
women  into  the  conventional  lie  of  marriage:  Mary 
Wollstonecraft  and,  later,  George  Eliot.  And  re- 
cently Puritanism  has  demanded  another  toll — the 
life  of  Oscar  Wilde.  In  fact,  Puritanism  has  never 
ceased  to  be  the  most  pernicious  factor  in  the  domain 
of  John  Bull,  acting  as  censor  of  the  artistic  expres- 
sion of  his  people,  and  stamping  its  approval  only 
on  the  dullness  of  middle-class  respectability. 

It  is  therefore  sheer  British  jingoism  which  points 
to  America  as  the  country  of  Puritanic  provincialism. 
It  is  quite  true  that  our  life  is  stunted  by  Puritanism, 
and  that  the  latter  is  killing  what  is  natural  and 
healthy  in  our  impulses.  But  it  is  equally  true  that 
it  is  to  England  that  we  are  indebted  for  transplanting 
this  spirit  on  American  soil.  It  was  bequeathed  to  us 
by  the  Pilgrim  fathers.  Fleeing  from  persecution 
and  oppression,  the  Pilgrims  of  Mayflower  fame 
established  in  the  New  World  a  reign  of  Puritanic 
tyranny  and  crime.  The  history  of  New  England, 
and  especially  of  Massachusetts,  is  full  of  the  horrors 
that  have  turned  life  into  gloom,  joy  and  despair, 
naturalness  into  disease,  honesty  and  truth  into 
hideous  lies  and  hypocrisies.  The  ducking-stool  and 
whipping-post,  as  well  as  numerous  other  devices  of 
torture,  were  the  favorite  English  methods  for  Amer- 
ican purification. 


Boston,  the  city  of  culture,  has  gone  down  in  the 
annals  of  Puritanism  as  the  "Bloody  Town."  It 
rivaled  Salem,  even,  in  her  cruel  persecution  of 
unauthorized  religious  opinions.  On  the  now  famous 
Common  a  half -naked  woman,  with  a  baby  in  her 
arms,  was  publicly  whipped  for  the  crime  of  free 
speech;  and  on  the  same  spot  Mary  Dyer,  another 
Quaker  woman,  was  hanged  in  1659.  In  fact,  Boston 
has  been  the  scene  of  more  than  one  wanton  crime 
committed  by  Puritanism.  Salem,  in  the  summer  of 
1692,  killed  eighteen  people  for  witchcraft.  Nor  was 
Massachusetts  alone  in  driving  out  the  devil  by  fire 
and  brimstone.  As  Canning  justly  said:  "The  Pil- 
grim fathers  infested  the  New  World  to  redress  the 
balance  of  the  Old."  The  horrors  of  that  period  have 
found  their  most  supreme  expression  in  the  American 
classic,  The  Scarlet  Letter. 

Puritanism  no  longer  employs  the  thumbscrew 
and  lash ;  but  it  still  has  a  most  pernicious  hold  on 
the  minds  and  feelings  of  the  American  people. 
Naught  else  can  explain  the  power  of  a  Comstock. 
Like  the  Torquemiadas  of  ante-bellum  days,  Anthony 
Comstock  is  the  autocrat  of  American  morals ;  he 
dictates  the  standards  of  good  and  evil,  of  purity  and 
vice.  Like  a  thief  in  the  night  he  sneaks  into  the 
private  lives  of  the  people,  into  their  most  intimate 
relations.  The  system  of  espionage  established  by 
this  man  Comstock  puts  to  shame  the  infamous  Third 
Division  of  the  Russian  secret  police.  Why  does  the 
public  tolerate  such  an  outrage  on  its  liberties?  Sim- 
ply because  Comstock  is  but  the  loud  expression  of 
the  Puritanism  bred  in  the  Anglo-Saxon  blood,  and 


from  whose  thraldom  even  Hberals  have  not  suc- 
ceeded in  fully  emancipating  themselves.  The  vision- 
less  and  leaden  elements  of  the  old  Young  Men's  and 
Women's  Christian  Temperance  Unions,  Purity 
Leagues,  American  Sabbath  Unions,  and  the  Prohibi- 
tion Party,  with  Anthony  Comstock  as  their  patron 
saint,  are  the  grave  diggers  of  American  art  and 

Europe  can  at  least  boast  of  a  bold  art  and  liter- 
ature which  delve  deeply  into  the  social  and  sexual 
problems  of  our  time,  exercising  a  severe  critique  of 
all  our  shams.  As  with  a  surgeon's  knife  every 
Puritanic  carcass  is  dissected,  and  the  way  thus 
cleared  for  man's  liberation  from  the  dead  weights  of 
the  past.  But  with  Puritanism  as  the  constant  check 
upon  American  life,  neither  truth  nor  sincerity  is 
possible.  Nothing  but  gloom  and  mediocrity  to  dic- 
tate human  conduct,  curtail  natural  expression,  and 
stifle  our  best  impulses.  Puritanism  in  this  the  twen- 
tieth century  is  as  much  the  enemy  of  freedom  and 
beauty  as  it  was  when  it  landed  on  Plymouth  Rock. 
It  repudiates,  as  som.ething  vile  and  sinful,  our  deep- 
est feelings;  but  being  absolutely  ignorant  as  to  the 
real  functions  of  human  emotions,  Puritanism  is  itself 
the  creator  of  the  most  unspeakable  vices. 

The  entire  history  of  asceticism  proves  this  to  be 
only  too  true.  The  Church,  as  well  as  Puritanism,  has 
fought  the  flesh  as  something  evil;  it  had  to  be  sub- 
dued and  hidden  at  all  cost.  The  result  of  this  vicious 
attitude  is  only  now  beginning  to  be  recognized  by 
modern  thinkers  and  educators.  They  realize  that 
"nakedness  has  a  hygienic  value  as  well  as  a  spiritual 


significance,  far  beyond  its  influences  in  allaying  the 
natural  inquisitiveness  of  the  young  or  acting  as  a 
preventative  of  morbid  emotion.  It  is  an  inspiration 
to  adults  who  have  long  outgrown  any  youthful  curi- 
osities. The  vision  of  the  essential  and  eternal  human 
form,  the  nearest  thing  to  us  in  all  the  world,  with  its 
vigor  and  its  beauty  and  its  grace,  is  one  of  the  prime 
tonics  of  life."*  But  the  spirit  of  purism  has  so  per- 
verted the  human  mind  that  it  has  lost  the  power  to 
appreciate  the  beauty  of  nudity,  forcing  us  to  hide  the 
natural  form  under  the  plea  of  chastity.  Yet  chastity 
itself  is  but  an  artificial  imposition  upon  nature,  ex- 
pressive of  a  false  shame  of  the  human  form.  The 
modern  idea  of  chastity,  especially  in  reference  to 
woman,  its  greatest  victim,  is  but  the  sensuous  exag- 
geration of  our  natural  impulses.  "Chastity  varies 
with  the  amount  of  clothing,"  and  hence  Christians 
and  purists  forever  hasten  to  cover  the  "heathen" 
with  tatters,  and  thus  convert  him  to  goodness  and 

Puritanism,  with  its  perversion  of  the  significance 
and  functions  of  the  human  body,  especially  in  regard 
to  woman,  has  condemned  her  to  celibacy,  or  to  the 
indiscriminate  breeding  of  a  diseased  race,  or  to  pros- 
titution. The  enormity  of  this  crime  against  human- 
ity is  apparent  when  we  consider  the  results.  Abso- 
lute sexual  continence  is  imposed  upon  the  unmarried 
woman,  under  pain  of  being  considered  immoral  or 
fallen,  with  the  result  of  producing  neurasthenia,  im- 
potence, depression,  and  a  great  variety  of  nervous 

*  The  Psychology  of  Sex.     Havelock  Ellis. 


complaints  involving  diminished  power  of  work,  lim- 
ited enjoyment  of  life,  sleeplessness,  and  preoccupa- 
tion with  sexual  desires  and  imaginings.  The  arbi- 
trary and  pernicious  dictum  of  total  continence 
probably  also  explains  the  mental  inequality  of  the 
sexes.  Thus  Freud  believes  that  the  intellectual  in- 
feriority of  so  many  women  is  due  to  the  inhibition 
of  thought  imposed  upon  them  for  the  purpose  of 
sexual  repression.  Having  thus  suppressed  the  na- 
tural sex  desires  of  the  unmarried  woman,  Puritan- 
ism, on  the  other  hand,  blesses  her  married  sister 
for  incontinent  fruitfulness  in  wedlock.  Indeed,  not 
merely  blesses  her,  but  forces  the  woman,  oversexed 
by  previous  repression,  to  bear  children,  irrespective 
of  weakened  physical  condition  or  economic  inability 
to  rear  a  large  family.  Prevention,  even  by  scientific- 
ally determined  safe  methods,  is  absolutely  prohibited ; 
nay,  the  very  mention  of  the  subject  is  considered 

Thanks  to  this  Puritanic  tyranny,  the  majority  of 
women  soon  find  themselves  at  the  ebb  of  their  phys- 
ical resources.  Ill  and  worn,  they  are  utterly  unable 
to  give  their  children  even  elementary  care.  That, 
added  to  economic  pressure,  forces  many  women  to 
risk  utmost  danger  rather  than  continue  to  bring  forth 
life.  The  custom  of  procuring  abortions  has  reached 
such  vast  proportions  in  America  as  to  be  almost 
beyond  belief.  According  to  recent  investigations 
along  this  line,  seventeen  abortions  are  committed  in 
every  hundred  pregnancies.  This  fearful  percentage 
represents  only  cases  which  come  to  the  knowledge  of 
physicians.^  Considering   the   secrecy   in    which    this 


practice  is  necessarily  shrouded,  and  the  consequent 
professional  inefficiency  and  neglect,  Puritanism  con- 
tinuously exacts  thousands  of  victims  to  its  own 
stupidity  and  hypocrisy. 

Prostitution,  although  hounded,  imprisoned,  and 
chained,  is  nevertheless  the  greatest  triumph  of  Puri- 
tanism. It  is  its  most  cherished  child,  all  hypocritical 
sanctimoniousness  notwithstanding.  The  prostitute  is 
the  fury  of  our  century,  sweeping  across  the  "civil- 
ized" countries  like  a  hurricane,  and  leaving  a  trail  of 
disease  and  disaster.  The  only  remedy  Puritanism 
offers  for  this  ill-begotten  child  is  greater  repression 
and  more  merciless  persecution.  The  latest  outrage 
is  represented  by  the  Page  Law,  which  imposes  upon 
the  State  of  New  York  the  terrible  failure  and  crime 
of  Europe,  namely,  registration  and  identification  of 
the  unfortunate  victims  of  Puritanism.  In  equally 
stupid  manner  purism  seeks  to  check  the  terrible 
scourge  of  its  own  creation — venereal  diseases.  M(^st 
disheartening  it  is  that  this  spirit  of  obtuse  narrow- 
mindedness  has  poisoned  even  our  so-called  liberals, 
and  has  blinded  them  into  joining  the  crusade  against 
the  very  things  born  of  the  hypocrisy  of  Puritanism — 
prostitution  and  its  results.  In  wilful  blindness  Puri- 
tanism refuses  to  see  that  the  true  method  of  preven- 
tion is  the  one  which  makes  it  clear  to  all  that  "ven- 
ereal diseases  are  not  a  mysterious  or  terrible  thing, 
the  penalty  of  the  sin  of  the  flesh,  a  sort  of  shameful 
evil  branded  by  purist  malediction,  but  an  ordinary 
disease  which  may  be  treated  and  cured."  By  its  meth- 
ods of  obscurity,  disguise,  and  concealment,  Puritan- 
ism has  furnished  favorable  conditions  for  the  growth 


and  spread  of  these  diseases.  Its  bigotry  is  again  most 
strikingly  demonstrated  by  the  senseless  attitude  in 
regard  to  the  great  discovery  of  Prof.  Ehrlich,  hypoc- 
risy veiling  the  important  cure  for  syphilis  with  vague 
allusions  to  a  remedy  for  "a  certain  poison." 

The  almost  limitless  capacity  of  Puritanism  for 
evil  is  due  to  its  intrenchment  behind  the  State  and 
the  law.  Pretending  to  safeguard  the  people  against 
"immorality,"  it  has  impregnated  the  machinery  of 
government  and  added  to  its  usurpation  of  moral 
guardianship  the  legal  censorship  of  our  views,  feel- 
ings, and  even  of  our  conduct. 

Art,  literature,  the  drama,  the  privacy  of  the  mails, 
in  fact,  our  most  intimate  tastes,  are  at  the  mercy  of 
this  inexorable  tyrant.  Anthony  Comstock,  or  some 
other  equally  ignorant  policeman,  has  been  given 
power  to  desecrate  genius,  to  soil  and  mutilate  the 
sublimest  creation  of  nature — the  human  form.  Books 
dealing  with  the  most  vital  issues  of  our  lives,  and 
seeking  to  shed  light  upon  dangerously  obscured 
problems,  are  legaly  treated  as  criminal  offenses,  and 
their  helpless  authors  thrown  into  prison  or  driven 
to  destruction  and  death. 

Not  even  in  the  domain  of  the  Tsar  is  personal  lib- 
erty daily  outraged  to  the  extent  it  is  in  America,  the 
stronghold  of  the  Puritanic  eunuchs.  Here  the  only 
day  of  recreation  left  to  the  masses,  Sunday,  has  been 
made  hideous  and  utterly  impossible.  All  writers  on 
primitive  customs  and  ancient  civilization  agree  that 
the  Sabbath  was  a  day  of  festivities,  free  from  care 
and  duties,  a  day  of  general  rejoicing  and  merry- 
making.    In   every   European   country  this   tradition 


continues  to  bring  some  relief  from  the  humdrum  and 
stupidity  of  our  Christian  era.  Everywhere  concert 
halls,  theaters,  museums,  and  gardens  are  filled  with 
men,  women,  and  children,  particularly  workers  with 
their  families,  full  of  life  and  joy,  forgetful  of  the 
ordinary  rules  and  conventions  of  their  every-day  ex- 
istence. It  is  on  that  day  that  the  masses  demonstrate 
what  life  might  really  mean  in  a  sane  society,  with 
work  stripped  of  its  profit-making,  soul-destroying 

Puritanism  has  robbed  the  people  even  of  that  one 
day.  Naturally,  only  the  workers  are  affected :  our 
millionaires  have  their  luxurious  homes  and  elaborate 
clubs.  The  poor,  however,  are  condemned  to  the 
monotony  and  dullness  of  the  American  Sunday. 
The  sociability  and  fun  of  European  outdoor  life  is 
here  exchanged  for  the  gloom  of  the  church,  the 
stuffy,  germ-saturated  country  parlor,  or  the  brutaliz- 
ing atmosphere  of  the  back-room  saloon.  In  Prohibi- 
tion States  the  people  lack  even  the  latter,  unless  they 
can  invest  their  meager  earnings  in  quantities  of  adul- 
terated liquor.  As  to  Prohibition,  every  one  knows 
what  a  farce  it  really  is.  Like  all  other  achievements 
of  Puritanism  it,  too,  has  but  driven  the  "devil" 
deeper  into  the  human  system.  Nowhere  else  does 
one  meet  so  many  drunkards  as  in  our  Prohibition 
towns.  But  so  long  as  one  can  use  scented  candy  to 
abate  the  foul  breath  of  hypocrisy,  Puritanism  is 
triumphant.  Ostensibly  Prohibition  is  opposed  to 
liquor  for  reasons  of  health  and  economy,  but  the 
very  spirit  of  Prohibition  being  itself  abnormal,  it 
succeeds  but  in  creating  an  abnormal  life. 


Every   stimulus   which   quickens   the   imagination 
and  raises  the  spirits,  is  as  necessary  to  our  life  as 
air.     It  invigorates  the  body,  and  deepens  our  vision 
of  human  fellowship.    Without  stimuli,  in  one  form  or 
another,  creative  work  is  impossible,  nor  indeed  the 
spirit  of  kindliness   and  generosity.     The   fact  that 
some  great  geniuses  have  seen  their  reflection  in  the 
goblet  too  frequently,  does  not  justify  Puritanism  in 
attempting  to  fetter  the  whole  gamut  of  human  emo- 
tions.    A  Byron  and  a  Poe  have   stirred  humanity 
deeper  than  all  the   Puritans  can  ever  hope  to   do. 
The  former  have  given  to  life  meaning  and  color;  the 
latter  are  turning  red  blood  into  water,  beauty  into 
ugliness,  variety  into  uniformity  and  decay.    Puritan- 
ism,   in  whatever   expression,   is   a   poisonous  germ. 
On    the    surface    everything    may    look    strong    and 
vigorous;  yet  the  poison  works  its  way  persistently, 
until  the  entire  fabric  is  doomed.      With  Hippolyte 
Taine,  every  truly  free  spirit  has  come  to  realize  that 
"Puritanism    is    the    death    of    culture,    philosophy, 
hum.  ,  and  good  fellowship;  its  characteristics  are 
dullness,  monotony,  and  gloom." 


Our  reformers  have  suddenly  made  a  great  dis- 
covery— the  white  slave  traffic.  The  papers  are  full 
of  these  "unheard-of  conditions,"  and  lawmakers  are 
already  planning  a  new  set  of  laws  to  check  the 

It  is  significant  that  whenever  the  public  mind  is 
to  be  diverted  from  a  great  social  wrong,  a  crusade 
is  inaugurated  against  indecency,  gambling,  saloons, 
etc.  And  what  is  the  result  of  such  crusades? 
Gambling  is  increasing,  saloons  are  doing  a  lively 
business  through  back  entrances,  prostitution  is  at 
its  height,  and  the  system  of  pimps  and  cadets  is  but 

How  is  it  that  an  institution,  known  almost  to 
every  child,  should  have  been  discovered  so  suddenly  ? 
How  is  it  that  this  evil,  known  to  all  sociologists, 
should  now  be  made  such  an  important  issue? 

To  assume  that  the  recent  investigation  of  the 
white  slave  traffic  (and,  by  the  way,  a  very  superficial 
investigation)  has  discovered  anything  new,  is,  to  say 
the  least,  very  foolish.  Prostitution  has  been,  and  is, 
a  widespread  evil,  yet  mankind  goes  on  its  business, 


perfectly  indifferent  to  the  sufferings  and  distress  of 
the  victims  of  prostitution.  As  indifferent,  indeed,  as 
mankind  has  remained  to  our  industrial  system,  or  to 
economic  prostitution. 

Only  when  human  sorrows  are  turned  into  a  toy 
with  glaring  colors  will  baby  people  become  interested 
— for  a  while  at  least.  The  people  are  a  very  fickle 
baby  that  must  have  new  toys  every  day.  The 
"righteous"  cry  against  the  white  slave  traffic  is  such 
a  toy.  It  serves  to  amuse  the  people  for  a  little 
while,  and  it  will  help  to  create  a  few  more  fat 
political  jobs — parasites  who  stalk  about  the  world  as 
inspectors,  investigators,  detectives,  and  so  forth. 

What  is  really  the  cause  of  the  trade  in  v/omen? 
Not  merely  white  women,  but  yellow  and  black 
women  as  well.  Exploitation,  of  course;  the  merci- 
less Moloch  of  capitalism  that  fattens  on  underpaid 
labor,  thus  driving  thousands  of  women  and  girls 
into  prostitution.  With  Mrs.  Warren  these  girls  feel, 
"Why  waste  3^our  life  working  for  a  few  shillings  a 
week  in  a  scullery,  eighteen  hours  a  day?" 

Naturally  our  reformers  say  nothing  about  this 
cause.  They  know  it  well  enough,  but  it  doesn't  pay 
to  say  anything  about  it.  It  is  much  more  profitable 
to  play  the  Pharisee,  to  pretend  an  outraged  morality, 
than  to  go  to  the  bottom  of  things. 

However,  there  is  one  commendable  exception 
among  the  young  writers :  Reginald  Wright  Kauff- 
man,  whose  work  The  House  of  Bondage  is  the  first 
earnest  attempt  to  treat  the  social  evil — not  from  a 
sentimental  Philistine  viewpoint.  A  journalist  of 
wide  experience,  Mr.  Kauffman  proves  that  our  in- 


dustrial  system  leaves  most  women  no  alternative 
except  prostitution.  The  women  portrayed  in  The 
House  of  Bondage  belong  to  the  working  class.  Had 
the  author  portrayed  the  life  of  women  in  other 
spheres,  he  would  have  been  confronted  with  the  same 
state  of  affairs. 

Nowhere  is  woman  treated  according  to  the  merit 
of  her  work,  but  rather  as  a  sex.  It  is  therefore 
almost  inevitable  that  she  should  pay  for  her  right 
to  exist,  to  keep  a  position  in  whatever  line,  with 
sex  favors.  Thus  it  is  merely  a  question  of  degree 
whether  she  sells  herself  to  one  man,  in  or  out  of 
marriage,  or  to  many  men.  Whether  our  reformers 
admit  it  or  not,  the  economic  and  social  inferiority 
of  woman  is  responsible  for  prostitution. 

Just  at  present  our  good  people  are  shocked  by 
the  disclosures  that  in  New  York  City  alone  one 
out  of  every  ten  women  works  in  a  factory,  that  the 
average  wage  received  by  women  is  six  dollars  per 
week  for  forty-eight  to  sixty  hours  of  work,  and 
that  the  majority  of  female  wage  workers  face  many- 
months  of  idleness  which  leaves  the  average  wage 
about  $280  a  year.  In  view  of  these  economic  hor- 
rors, is  it  to  be  v/ondered  at  that  prostitution  and 
the  white  slave  trade  have  become  such  dominant 
factors  ? 

Lest  the  preceding  figures  be  considered  an  ex- 
aggeration, it  is  well  to  examine  what  somie  author- 
ities on  prostitution  have  to  say : 

"A  prolific  cause  of  female  depravity  can  be  found 
in  the  several  tables,  showing  the  description  of  the 
employment  pursued,  and  the  wages  received,  by  the 


women  previous  to  their  fall,  and  it  will  be  a  ques- 
tion for  the  political  economist  to  decide  how  far 
mere  business  consideration  should  be  an  apology 
on  the  part  of  employers  for  a  reduction  in  their 
rates  of  remuneration,  and  whether  the  savings  of 
a  small  percentage  oh  wages  is  not  more  than  coun- 
terbalanced by  the  enormous  amount  of  taxation 
enforced  on  the  public  at  large  to  defray  the  ex- 
penses incurred  on  account  of  a  system  of  vice, 
zvhich  is  the  direct  result,  in  many  cases,  of  insuffi- 
cient compensation   of  honest  labor."* 

Our  present-day  reformers  would  do  well  to  look 
into  Dr.  Sanger's  book.  There  they  will  find  that  out 
of  2,000  cases  under  his  observation,  but  few  came 
from  the  middle  classes,  from  well-ordered  condi- 
tions, or  pleasant  homes.  By  far  the  largest  majority 
were  working  girls  and  working  women ;  some  driven 
into  prostitution  through  sheer  want,  others  because 
of  a  cruel,  wretched  life  at  home,  others  again  be- 
cause of  thwarted  and  crippled  physical  natures  (of 
which  I  shall  speak  later  on).  Also  it  will  do  the 
maintainers  of  purity  and  morality  good  to  learn  that 
out  of  two  thousand  cases,  490  were  married  women, 
women  who  lived  with  their  husbands.  Evidently 
there  was  not  much  of  a  guaranty  for  their  "safety 
and  purity"  in  the  sanctity  of  marriage.f 

*  Dr.  Sanger,  The  History  of  Prostitution. 

t  It  is  a  significant  fact  that  Dr.  Sanger's  book  has  been 
excluded  from  the  U.  S.  mails.  Evidently  the  authorities  are 
not  anxious  that  the  public  be  informed  as  to  the  true  cause 
of  prostitution. 

THE   TRAFFIC    IN    WOMEN  187 

Dr.  Alfred  Blaschko,  in  Prostitution  in  the  Nine- 
teenth Century,  is  even  more  emphatic  in  characteriz- 
ing economic  conditions  as  one  of  the  most  vital 
factors  of  prostitution. 

"Although  prostitution  has  existed  in  all  ages,  it 
was  left  to  the  nineteenth  century  to  develop  it  into 
a  gigantic  social  institution.  The  development  of  in- 
dustry with  vast  masses  of  people  in  the  competitive 
market,  the  growth  and  congestion  of  large  cities, 
the  insecurity  and  uncertainty  of  employment,  has 
given  prostitution  an  impetus  never  dreamed  of  at 
any  period  in  human  history." 

And  again  Havelock  Ellis,  while  not  so  absolute 
in  dealing  with  the  economic  cause,  is  nevertheless 
compelled  to  admit  that  it  is  indirectly  and  directly 
the  main  cause.  Thus  he  finds  that  a  large  percentage 
of  prostitutes  is  recruited  from  the  servant  class, 
although  the  latter  have  less  care  and  greater  security. 
On  the  other  hand,  Mr.  Ellis  does  not  deny  that 
the  daily  routine,  the  drudgery,  the  monotony  of  the 
servant  girl's  lot,  and  espec^'ally  the  fact  that  she 
may  never  partake  of  the  companionship  and  joy  of 
a  home,  is  no  mean  factor  in  forcing  her  to  seek 
recreation  and  forgetfulness  in  the  gaiety  and  glim- 
mer of  prostitution.  In  other  words,  the  servant  girl, 
being  treated  as  a  drudge,  never  having  the  right  to 
herself,  and  worn  out  by  the  caprices  of  her  mistress, 
can  find  an  outlet,  like  the  factory  or  shopgirl,  only 
in  prostitution. 

The  most  amusing  side  of  the  question  now  be- 
fore the  public  is  the  indignation  of  our  "good, 
respectable  people,"  especially  the  various  Christian 


gentlemen,  who  are  always  to  be  found  in  the  front 
ranks  of  every  crusade.  Is  it  that  they  are  abso- 
lutely ignorant  of  the  history  of  religion,  and  es- 
pecially of  the  Christian  religion?  Or  is  it  that  they 
hope  to  blind  the  present  generation  to  the  part 
played  in  the  past  by  the  Church  in  relation  to  pros- 
titution? Whatever  their  reason,  they  should  be  the 
last  to  cry  out  against  the  unfortunate  victims  of 
today,  since  it  is  known  to  every  intelligent  student 
that  prostitution  is  of  religious  origin,  maintained  and 
fostered  for  many  centuries,  not  as  a  shame,  but  as  a 
virtue,  hailed  as  such  by  the  Gods  themselves. 

"It  would  seem  that  the  origin  of  prostitution  is 
to  be  found  primarily  in  a  religious  custom,  religion, 
the  great  conserver  of  social  tradition,  preserving  in 
a  transformed  shape  a  primitive  freedom  that  was 
passing  out  of  the  general  social  life.  The  typical 
example  is  that  recorded  by  Herodotus,  in  the  fifth 
century  before  Christ,  at  the  Temple  of  Mylitta,  the 
Babylonian  Venus,  where  every  woman,  once  in  her 
life,  had  to  come  and  give  herself  to  the  first  stranger, 
who  threw  a  coin  in  her  lap,  to  worship  the  goddess. 
Very  similar  customs  existed  in  other  parts  of  west- 
ern Asia,  in  North  Africa,  in  Cyprus,  and  other 
islands  of  the  eastern  Mediterranean,  and  also  in 
Greece,  where  the  temple  of  Aphrodite  on  the  fort  at 
Corinth  possessed  over  a  thousand  hierodules,  dedi- 
cated to  the  service  of  the  goddess. 

"The  theory  that  religious  prostitution  developed, 
as  a  general  rule,  out  of  the  belief  that  the  generative 
activity  of  human  beings  possessed  a  mysterious  and 
sacred  influence  in  promoting  the  fertility  of  Nature, 

THE    TRAFFIC    IN    WOMEN  189 

is  maintained  by  all  authoritative  writers  on  the  sub- 
ject. Gradually,  however,  and  when  prostitution  be- 
came an  organized  institution  under  priestly  influence, 
religious  prostitution  developed  utilitarian  sides,  thus 
helping  to  increase  public  revenue. 

"The  rise  of  Christianity  to  political  power  pro- 
duced little  change  in  policy.  The  leading  fathers  of 
the  Church  tolerated  prostitution.  Brothels  under 
municipal  protection  are  found  in  the  thirteenth  cen- 
tury. They  constituted  a  sort  of  public  service,  the 
directors  of  them  being  considered  almost  as  public 

To  this  must  be  added  the  following  from  Dr. 
Sanger's  work : 

"Pope  Clement  II.  issued  a  bull  that  prostitutes 
would  be  tolerated  if  they  pay  a  certain  amount  of 
their  earnings  to  the  Church. 

"Pope  Sixtus  IV.  was  more  practical;  from  one 
single  brothel,  which  he  himself  had  built,  he  received 
an  income  of  20,000  ducats." 

In  modern  times  the  Church  is  a  little  more  care- 
ful in  that  direction.  At  least  she  does  not  openly 
demand  tribute  from  prostitutes.  She  finds  it  much 
more  profitable  to  go  in  for  real  estate,  like  Trinity 
Church,  for  instance,  to  rent  out  death  traps  at  an 
exorbitant  price  to  those  who  live  off  and  by  prosti- 

Much  as  I  should  like  to,  my  space  will  not  admit 
speaking  of  prostitution  in  Egypt,  Greece,  Rome,  and 
during  the  Middle  Ages.  The  conditions  in  the  latter 
period  are  particularly  interesting,  inasmuch  as  pros- 

*Havelock  Ellis,  Sex  and  Society. 


titution  was  organized  into  guilds,  presided  over  by  a 
brothel  queen.  These  guilds  employed  strikes  as  a 
medium  of  improving  their  condition  and  keeping  a 
standard  price.  Certainly  that  is  more  practical  a 
method  than  the  one  used  by  the  modern  wage-slave 
in  society. 

It  would  be  one-sided  and  extremely  superficial  to 
maintain  that  the  economic  factor  is  the  only  cause  of 
prostitution.  There  are  others  no  less  important  and 
vital.  That,  too,  our  reformers  know,  but  dare  dis- 
cuss even  less  than  the  institution  that  saps  the  very 
life  out  of  both  men  and  women.  I  refer  to  the  sex 
question,  the  very  mention  of  which  causes  most 
people  moral  spasms. 

It  is  a  conceded  fact  that  woman  is  being  reared 
as  a  sex  commodity,  and  yet  she  is  kept  in  absolute 
ignorance  of  the  meaning  and  importance  of  sex. 
Everything  dealing  with  that  subject  is  suppressed, 
and  persons  who  attempt  to  bring  light  into  this  terri- 
ble darkness  are  persecuted  and  thrown  into  prison. 
Yet  it  is  nevertheless  true  that  so  long  as  a  girl  is  not 
to  know  how  to  take  care  of  herself,  not  to  know  the 
function  of  the  most  important  part  of  her  life,  we 
need  not  be  surprised  if  she  becomes  an  easy  prey  to 
prostitution,  or  to  any  other  form  of  a  relationship 
which  degrades  her  to  the  position  of  an  object  for 
mere  sex  gratification. 

It  is  due  to  this  ignorance  that  the  entire  life  and 
nature  of  the  girl  is  thwarted  and  crippled.  We 
have  long  ago  taken  it  as  a  self-evident  fact  that  the 
boy  may  follow  the  call  of  the  wild;  that  is  to  say, 
that  the  boy  may,  as  soon  as  his  sex  nature  asserts 


itself,  satisfy  that  nature;  but  our  moralists  are  scan- 
dalized at  the  very  thought  that  the  nature  of  a  girl 
should  assert  itself.  To  the  moralist  prostitution  does 
not  consist  so  much  in  the  fact  that  the  woman  sells 
her  body,  but  rather  that  she  sells  it  out  of  wedlock. 
That  this  is  no  mere  statement  is  proved  by  the  fact 
that  marriage  for  monetary  considerations  is  per- 
fectly legitimate,  sanctified  by  law  and  public  opinion, 
while  any  other  union  is  condemned  and  repudiated. 
Yet  a  prostitute,  if  properly  defined,  means  nothing 
else  than  "any  person  for  whom  sexual  relationships 
are  subordinated  to  gain."* 

"Those  women  are  prostitutes  who  sell  their 
bodies  for  the  exercise  of  the  sexual  act  and  make  of 
this  a  profession. "f 

In  fact.  Banger  goes  further;  he  maintains  that 
the  act  of  prostitution  is  "intrinsically  equal  to  that 
of  a  man  or  woman  who  contracts  a  marriage  for 
economic  reasons." 

Of  course,  marriage  is  the  goal  of  every  girl,  but 
as  thousands  of  girls  cannot  marry,  our  stupid  social 
customs  condemn  them  either  to  a  life  of  celibacy  or 
prostitution.  Human  nature  asserts  itself  regardless 
of  all  laws,  nor  is  there  any  plausible  reason  why 
nature  should  adapt  itself  to  a  perverted  conception 
of  morality. 

Society  considers  the  sex  experiences  of  a  man 
as  attributes  of  his  general  development,  while  similar 
experiences  in  the  life  of  a  woman  are  looked  upon 
as  a  terrible  calamity,  a  loss  of  honor  and  of  all  that  is 

*  Guyot,  La  Prostitution. 

t  Banger,  Criminalite  et  Condition  Economique. 


good  and  noble  in  a  human  being.  This  double  stand- 
ard of  morality  has  played  no  little  part  in  the  crea- 
tion and  perpetuation  of  prostitution.  It  involves  the 
keeping  of  the  young  in  absolute  ignorance  on  sex 
matters,  which  alleged  "innocence,"  together  with  an 
overwrought  and  stifled  sex  nature,  helps  to  bring 
about  a  state  of  affairs  that  our  Puritans  are  so 
anxious  to  avoid  or  prevent. 

Not  that  the  gratification  of  sex  must  needs  lead 
to  prostitution;  it  is  the  cruel,  heartless,  criminal  per- 
secution of  those  who  dare  divert  from  the  beaten 
track,  which  is  responsible  for  it. 

Girls,  mere  children,  work  in  crowded,  over- 
heated rooms  ten  to  twelve  hours  daily  at  a  machine, 
which  tends  to  keep  them  in  a  constant  over-excited 
sex  state.  Many  of  these  girls  have  no  home  or  com- 
forts of  any  kind;  therefore  the  street  or  some  place 
of  cheap  amusement  is  the  only  means  of  forgetting 
their  daily  routine.  This  naturally  brings  them  into 
close  proximity  with  the  other  sex.  It  is  hard  to  say 
which  of  the  two  factors  brings  the  girl's  over-sexed 
condition  to  a  climax,  but  it  is  certainly  the  most 
natural  thing  that  a  climax  should  result.  That  is  the 
first  step  toward  prostitution.  Nor  is  the  girl  to  be 
held  responsible  for  it.  On  the  contrary,  it  is  alto- 
gether the  fault  of  society,  the  fault  of  our  lack  of 
understanding,  of  our  lack  of  appreciation  of  life  in 
the  making;  especially  is  it  the  criminal  fault  of  our 
moralists,  who  condemn  a  girl  for  all  eternity,  because 
she  has  gone  from  the  "path  of  virtue" ;  that  is, 
because  her  first  sex  experience  has  taken  place  with- 
out the  sanction  of  the  Church. 

THE    TRAFFIC    IN    WOMEN  193 

The  girl  feels  herself  a  complete  outcast,  with  the 
doors  of  home  and  society  closed  in  her  face.  Her 
entire  training  and  tradition  is  such  that  the  girl  her- 
self feels  depraved  and  fallen,  and  therefore  has  no 
ground  to  stand  upon,  or  any  hold  that  will  lift  her 
up,  instead  of  dragging  her  down.  Thus  society 
creates  the  victims  that  it  afterwards  vainly  attempts 
to  get  rid  of.  The  meanest,  most  depraved  and 
decrepit  man  still  considers  himself  too  good  to  take 
as  his  wife  the  woman  whose  grace  he  was  quite 
willing  to  buy,  even  though  he  might  thereby  save  her 
from  a  life  of  horror.  Nor  can  she  turn  to  her  own 
sister  for  help.  In  her  stupidity  the  latter  deems  her- 
self too  pure  and  chaste,  not  realizing  that  her  own 
position  is  in  many  respects  even  more  deplorable 
than  her  sister's  of  the  street. 

"The  wife  who  married  for  money,  compared  with 
the  prostitute,"  says  Havelock  Ellis,  ''is  the  true  scab. 
She  is  paid  less,  gives  much  more  in  return  in  labor 
and  care,  and  is  absolutely  bound  to  her  master.  The 
prostitute  never  signs  away  the  right  over  her  own 
person,  she  retains  her  freedom  and  personal  rights, 
nor  is  she  always  compelled  to  submit  to  man's 

Nor  does  the  better-than-thou  woman  realize  the 
apologist  claim  of  Lecky  that  "though  she  may  be 
the  supreme  type  of  vice,  she  is  also  the  most  efficient 
guardian  of  virtue.  But  for  her,  happy  homes  would 
be  polluted,  unnatural  and  harmful  practice  would 

■  Moralists    are    ever    ready    to    sacrifice    one-half 
of  the  human  race  for  the  sake  of  some  miserable 


institution  which  they  can  not  outgrow.  As  a  matter 
of  fact,  prostitution  is  no  more  a  safeguard  for  the 
purity  of  the  home  than  rigid  laws  are  a  safeguard 
against  prostitution.  Fully  fifty  per  cent,  of  married 
men  are  patrons  of  brothels.  It  is  through  this  vir- 
tuous element  that  the  married  women — nay,  even 
the  children — are  infected  with  venereal  diseases. 
Yet  society  has  not  a  word  of  condemnation  for  the 
man,  while  no  law  is  too  monstrous  to  be  set  in  motion 
against  the  helpless  victim.  She  is  not  only  preyed 
upon  by  those  who  use  her,  but  she  is  also  absolutely 
at  the  mercy  of  every  policeman  and  miserable  detect- 
ive on  the  beat,  the  officials  at  the  station  house,  the 
authorities  in  every  prison. 

In  a  recent  book  by  a  woman  who  was  for  twelve 
years  the  mistress  of  a  "house,"  are  to  be  found  the 
following  figures :  "The  authorities  compelled  me  to 
pay  every  month  fines  between  $14.70  to  $29.70,  the 
girls  would  pay  from  $5.70  to  $9.70  to  the  police." 
Considering  that  the  writer  did  her  business  in  a  small 
city,  that  the  amounts  she  gives  do  not  include  extra 
bribes  and  fines,  one  can  readily  see  the  tremendous 
revenue  the  police  department  derives  from  the  blood 
money  of  its  victims,  whom  it  will  not  even  protect. 
Woe  to  those  who  refuse  to  pay  their  toll ;  they  would 
be  rounded  up  like  cattle,  "if  only  to  make  a  favorable 
impression  upon  the  good  citizens  of  the  city,  or  if  the 
powers  needed  extra  money  on  the  side.  For  the 
warped  mind  who  believes  that  a  fallen  woman  is 
incapable  of  human  emotion  it  would  be  impossible  to 
realize  the  grief,  the  disgrace,  the  tears,  the  wounded 
pride  that  was  ours  every  time  we  were  pulled  in." 

THE    TRAFFIC    IN    WOMEN  195 

Strange,  isn't  it,  that  a  woman  who  has  kept  a 
"house"  should  be  able  to  feel  that  way?  But 
stranger  still  that  a  good  Christian  world  should  bleed 
and  fleece  such  women,  and  give  them  nothing  in 
return  except  obloquy  and  persecution.  Oh,  for  the 
charity  of  a  Christian  world ! 

Much  stress  is  laid  on  white  slaves  being  imported 
into  America.  How  would  America  ever  retain  her 
virtue  if  Europe  did  not  help  her  out?  I  will  not 
deny  that  this  may  be  the  case  in  some  instances,  any 
more  than  I  will  deny  that  there  are  emissaries  of 
Germany  and  other  countries  luring  economic  slaves 
into  America;  but  I  absolutely  deny  that  prostitution 
is  recruited  to  any  appreciable  extent  from  Europe. 
It  may  be  true  that  the  majority  of  prostitutes  of  New 
York  City  are  foreigners,  but  that  is  because  the 
majority  of  the  population  is  foreign.  The  moment 
we  go  to  any  other  American  city,  to  Chicago  or  the 
Middle  West,  we  shall  find  that  the  number  of  foreign 
prostitutes  is  by  far  a  minority. 

Equally  exaggerated  is  the  belief  that  the  majority 
of  street  girls  in  this  city  were  engaged  in  this  busi- 
ness before  they  came  to  America.  Most  of  the  girls 
speak  excellent  English,  are  Americanized  in  habits 
and  appearance, — a  thing  absolutely  impossible  unless 
they  had  lived  in  this  country  many  years.  That  is, 
they  were  driven  into  prostitution  by  American  condi- 
tions, by  the  thoroughly  American  custom  for  ex- 
cessive display  of  finery  and  clothes,  which,  of  course, 
necessitates  money, — money  that  cannot  be  earned  in 
shops  or  factories. 

In  other  words,  there  is  no  reason  to  believe  that 


any  set  of  men  would  go  to  the  risk  and  expense  of 
getting  foreign  products,  when  American  conditions 
are  overflooding  the  market  with  thousands  of  girls. 
On  the  other  hand,  there  is  sufficient  evidence  to  prove 
that  the  export  of  American  girls  for  the  purpose  of 
prostitution  is  by  no  means  a  small  factor. 

Thus  Clifford  G.  Roe,  ex-Assistant  State  Attorney 
of  Cook  County,  111.,  makes  the  open  charge  that  New 
England  girls  are  shipped  to  Panama  for  the  express 
use  of  men  in  the  employ  of  Uncle  Sam.  Mr.  Roe 
adds  that  "there  seems  to  be  an  underground  railroad 
between  Boston  and  Washington  which  many  girls 
travel."  Is  it  not  significant  that  the  railroad  should 
lead  to  the  very  seat  of  Federal  authority?  That  Mr. 
Roe  said  more  than  was  desired  in  certain  quarters 
is  proved  by  the  fact  that  he  lost  his  position.  It  is 
not  practical  for  men  in  office  to  tell  tales  from  school. 

The  excuse  given  for  the  conditions  in  Panama  is 
that  there  are  no  brothels  in  the  Canal  Zone.  That  is 
the  usual  avenue  of  escape  for  a  hypocritical  world 
that  dares  not  face  the  truth.  Not  in  the  Canal  Zone, 
not  in  the  city  limits, — therefore  prostitution  does  not 

Next  to  Mr.  Roe,  there  is  James  Bronson  Rey- 
nolds, who  has  made  a  thorough  study  of  the  white 
slave  traffic  in  Asia.  As  a  staunch  American  citizen 
and  friend  of  the  future  Napoleon  of  America,  Theo- 
dore Roosevelt,  he  is  surely  the  last  to  discredit  the 
virtue  of  his  country.  Yet  we  are  informed  by  him 
that  in  Hong  Kong,  Shanghai,  and  Yokohama,  the 
Augean  stables  of  American  vice  are  located.  There 
American  prostitutes  have  made  themselves  go  con- 


spicuous  that  in  the  Orient  "American  girl"  is  synony- 
mous with  prostitute.  Mr.  Reynolds  reminds  his 
countrymen  that  while  Americans  in  China  are  under 
the  protection  of  our  consular  representatives,  the 
Chinese  in  America  have  no  protection  at  all.  Every 
one  who  knows  the  brutal  and  barbarous  persecution 
Chinese  and  Japanese  endure  on  the  Pacific  Coast, 
will  agree  with  Mr.  Reynolds. 

In  view  of  the  above  facts  it  is  rather  absurd  to 
point  to  Europe  as  the  swamp  whence  come  all  the 
social  diseases  of  America.  Just  as  absurd  is  it  to 
proclaim  the  myth  that  the  Jews  furnish  the  largest 
contingent  of  willing  prey.  I  am  sure  that  no  one 
will  accuse  me  of  nationalistic  tendencies.  I  am  glad 
to  say  that  I  have  developed  out  of  them,  as  out  of 
many  other  prejudices.  If,  therefore,  I  resent  the 
statement  that  Jewish  prostitutes  are  imported,  it  is 
not  because  of  any  Judaistic  sympathies,  but  because 
of  the  facts  inherent  in  the  lives  of  these  people.  No 
one  but  the  most  superficial  will  claim  that  Jewish 
girls  migrate  to  strange  lands,  unless  they  have  some 
tie  or  relation  that  brings  them  there.  The  Jewish 
girl  is  not  adventurous.  Until  recent  years  she  had 
never  left  home,  not  even  so  far  as  the  next  village  or 
town,  except  it  were  to  visit  some  relative.  Is  it  then 
credible  that  Jewish  girls  would  leave  their  parents  or 
families,  travel  thousands  of  miles  to  strange  lands, 
through  the  influence  and  promises  of  strange  forces  ? 
Go  to  any  of  the  large  incoming  steamers  and  see  for 
yourself  if  these  girls  do  not  come  either  with  their 
parents,  brothers,  aunts,  or  other  kinsfolk.  There 
may  be  exceptions,  of  course,  but  to  state  that  large 


numbers  of  Jewish  girls  are  imported  for  prostitution, 
or  any  other  purpose,  is  simply  not  to  know  Jewish 

Those  who  sit  in  a  glass  house  do  wrong  to  throw 
stones  about  them;  besides,  the  American  glass  house 
is  rather  thin,  it  will  break  easily,  and  the  interior  is 
anything  but  a  gainly  sight. 

To  ascribe  the  increase  of  prostitution  to  alleged 
importation,  to  the  growth  of  the  cadet  system,  or 
similar  causes,  is  highly  superficial.  I  have  already 
referred  to  the  former.  As  to  the  cadet  system, 
abhorrent  as  it  is,  we  must  not  ignore  the  fact  that  it 
is  essentially  a  phase  of  modern  prostitution, — a  phase 
accentuated  by  suppression  and  graft,  resulting  from 
sporadic  crusades  against  the  social  evil. 

The  procurer  is  no  doubt  a  poor  specimen  of  the 
human  family,  but  in  what  manner  is  he  more  des- 
picable than  the  policeman  who  takes  the  last  cent 
from  the  street  walker,  and  then  locks  her  up  in  the 
station  house?  Why  is  the  cadet  more  criminal,  or  a 
greater  menace  to  society,  than  the  owners  of  depart- 
ment stores  and  factories,  who  grow  fat  on  the  sweat 
of  their  victims,  only  to  drive  them  to  the  streets? 
I  make  no  plea  for  the  cadet,  but  I  fail  to  see  why 
he  should  be  mercilessly  hounded,  while  the  real  per- 
petrators of  all  social  iniquity  enjoy  immunity  and 
respect.  Then,  too,  it  is  well  to  remember  that  it  is 
not  the  cadet  who  makes  the  prostitute.  It  is  our 
sham  and  hypocrisy  that  create  both  the  prostitute 
and  the  cadet. 

Until  1894  very  little  was  known  in  America  of 
the  procurer.     Then  we  were  attacked  by  an  epidemic 


of  virtue.  Vice  was  to  be  abolished,  the  country  puri- 
fied at  all  cost.  The  social  cancer  was  therefore 
driven  out  of  sight,  but  deeper  into  the  body.  Keep- 
ers of  brothels,  as  well  as  their  unfortunate  victims, 
were  turned  over  to  the  tender  mercies  of  the  police. 
The  inevitable  consequence  of  exorbitant  bribes,  and 
the  penitentiary,  followed. 

While  comparatively  protected  in  the  brothels, 
where  they  represented  a  certain  monetary  value,  the 
girls  now  found  themselves  on  the  street,  absolutely 
at  the  mercy  of  the  graft-greedy  police.  Desperate, 
needing  protection  and  longing  for  affection,  these 
girls  naturally  proved  an  easy  prey  for  cadets,  them- 
selves the  result  of  the  spirit  of  our  commercial  age. 
Thus  the  cadet  system  was  the  direct  outgrowth  of 
police  persecution,  graft,  and  attempted  suppression 
of  prostitution.  It  were  sheer  folly  to  confound  this 
modern  phase  of  the  social  evil  with  the  causes  of  the 

Mere  suppression  and  barbaric  enactments  can 
serve  but  to  embitter,  and  further  degrade,  the  unfor- 
tunate victims  of  ignorance  and  stupidity.  The  latter 
,has  reached  its  highest  expression  in  the  proposed  law 
to  make  humane  treatment  of  prostitutes  a  crime, 
punishing  any  one  sheltering  a  prostitute  with  five 
years'  imprisonment  and  $10,000  fine.  Such  an  atti- 
tude merely  exposes  the  terrible  lack  of  understanding 
of  the  true  causes  of  prostitution,  as  a  social  factor, 
as  well  as  manifesting  the  Puritanic  spirit  of  the 
Scarlet  Letter  days. 

There  is  not  a  single  modern  writer  on  the  subject 
who  does  not  refer  to  the  utter  futility  of  legislative 


methods  in  coping  with  the  issue.  Thus  Dr.  Blaschko 
finds  that  governmental  suppression  and  moral  cru- 
sades accomplish  nothing  save  driving  the  evil  into 
secret  channels,  multiplying  its  dangers  to  society. 
Havelock  Ellis,  the  most  thorough  and  humane  stu- 
dent of  prostitution,  proves  by  a  w^ealth  of  data  that 
the  more  stringent  the  methods  of  persecution  the 
v^^orse  the  condition  becomes.  Among  other  data  we 
learn  that  in  France,  "in  1560,  Charles  IX.  abolished 
brothels  through  an  edict,  but  the  numbers  of  prosti- 
tutes were  only  increased,  while  many  new  brothels 
appeared  in  unsuspected  shapes,  and  were  more  dan- 
gerous. In  spite  of  all  such  legislation,  or  because  of 
it,  there  has  been  no  country  in  which  prostitution  has 
played  a  more  conspicuous  part."* 

An  educated  public  opinion,  freed  from  the  legal 
and  moral  hounding  of  the  prostitute,  can  alone  help 
to  ameliorate  present  conditions.  Wilful  shutting  of 
eyes  and  ignoring  of  the  evil  as  a  social  factor  of 
modern  life,  can  but  aggravate  matters.  We  must  rise 
above  our  foolish  notions  of  "better  than  thou,"  and 
learn  to  recognize  in  the  prostitute  a  product  of  social 
conditions.  Such  a  realization  will  sweep  away  the 
attitude  of  hypocrisy,  and  insure  a  greater  under- 
standing and  more  humane  treatment.  As  to  a  thor- 
ough eradication  of  prostitution,  nothing  can  accom- 
plish that  save  a  complete  transvaluation  of  all 
accepted  values — especially  the  moral  ones — coupled 
with  the  abolition  of  industrial  slavery. 

*  Sex  and  Society. 


We  boast  of  the  age  of  advancement,  of  science, 
and  progress.  Is  it  not  strange,  then,  that  we  still 
believe  in  fetich  worship?  True,  our  fetiches  have 
different  form  and  substance,  yet  in  their  power  over 
the  human  mind  they  are  still  as  disastrous  as  were 
those  of  old. 

Our  modern  fetich  is  universal  suffrage.  Those 
who  have  not  yet  achieved  that  goal  fight  bloody 
revolutions  to  obtain  it,  and  those  who  have  enjoyed 
its  reign  bring  heavy  sacrifice  to  the  altar  of  this 
omnipotent  diety.  Woe  to  the  heretic  who  dare 
question  that  divinity! 

Woman,  even  more  than  man,  is  a  fetich  worship- 
per, and  though  her  idols  may  change,  she  is  ever  on 
her  knees,  ever  holding  up  her  hands,  ever  blind  to  the 
fact  that  her  god  has  feet  of  clay.  Thus  woman  has 
been  the  greatest  supporter  of  all  deities  from  time 
immemorial.  Thus,  too,  she  has  had  to  pay  the  price 
that  only  gods  can  exact, — her  freedom,  her  heart's 
blood,  her  very  life. 

Nietzsche's  memorable  maxim,  "When  you  go  to 
woman,   take   the   whip   along,"   is   considered   very 


brutal,  yet  Nietzsche  expressed  in  one  sentence  the 
attitude  of  woman  towards  her  gods. 

Rehgion,  especially  the  Christian  religion,  has  con- 
demned woman  to  the  life  of  an  inferior,  a  slave. 
It  has  thwarted  her  nature  and  fettered  her  soul, 
yet  the  Christian  religion  has  no  greater  supporter, 
none  more  devout,  than  woman.  Indeed,  it  is  safe 
to  say  that  religion  would  have  long  ceased  to  be  a 
factor  in  the  lives  of  the  people,  if  it  were  not  for 
the  support  it  receives  from  woman.  The  most 
ardent  churchworkers,  the  most  tireless  missionaries 
the  world  over,  are  women,  always  sacrificing  on  the 
altar  of  the  gods  that  have  chained  her  spirit  and 
enslaved  her  body. 

The  insatiable  monster,  war,  robs  woman  of  all 
that  is  dear  and  precious  to  her.  It  exacts  her 
brothers,  lovers,  sons,  and  in  return  gives  her  a  life 
of  loneliness  and  despair.  Yet  the  greatest  supporter 
and  worshiper  of  war  is  woman.  She  it  is  who 
instills  the  love  of  conquest  and  power  into  her  chil- 
dren ;  she  it  is  who  whispers  the  glories  of  war  into 
the  ears  of  her  little  ones,  and  who  rocks  her  baby 
to  sleep  with  the  tunes  of  trumpets  and  the  noise 
of  guns.  It  is  woman,  too,  who  crowns  the  victor 
on  his  return  from  the  battlefield.  Yes,  it  is  woman 
who  pays  the  highest  price  to  that  insatiable  monster, 

Then  there  is  the  home.  What  a  terrible  fetich 
it  is !  How  it  saps  the  very  life-energy  of  woman, — 
this  modern  prison  with  golden  bars.  Its  shining 
aspect  blinds  woman  to  the  price  she  would  have 
to  pay  as  wife,  mother,  and  housekeeper.    Yet  woman 


clings  tenaciously  to  the  home,  to  the  power  that 
holds  her  in  bondage. 

It  may  be  said  that  because  woman  recognizes  the 
awful  toll  she  is  made  to  pay  to  the  Church,  State, 
and  the  home,  she  wants  suffrage  to  set  herself  free. 
That  may  be  true  of  the  few;  the  majority  of  suf- 
fragists repudiate  utterly  such  blasphemy.  On  the 
contrary,  they  insist  always  that  it  is  woman  suffrage 
which  will  make  her  a  better  Christian  and  home- 
keeper,  a  staunch  citizen  of  the  State.  Thus  suffrage 
is  only  a  means  of  strengthening  the  omnipotence  of 
the  very  Gods  that  woman  has  served  from  time 

What  wonder,  then,  that  she  should  be  just  as 
devout,  just  as  zealous,  just  as  prostrate  before  the 
new  idol,  woman  suffrage.  As  of  old,  she  endures 
persecution,  imprisonment,  torture,  and  all  forms  of 
condemnation,  with  a  smile  on  her  face.  As  of  old, 
the  most  enlightened,  even,  hope  for  a  miracle  from 
the  twentieth-century  deity, — suffrage.  Life,  happi- 
ness, joy,  freedom,  independence, — all  that,  and  more, 
is  to  spring  from  suffrage.  In  her  blind  devotion 
woman  does  not  see  what  people  of  intellect  per- 
ceived fifty  years  ago :  that  suffrage  is  an  evil,  that 
it  has  only  helped  to  enslave  people,  that  it  has  but 
closed  their  eyes  that  they  may  not  see  how  craftily 
they  were  made  to  submit. 

Woman's  demand  for  equal  suffrage  is  based 
largely  on  the  contention  that  woman  must  have  the 
equal  right  in  all  affairs  of  society.  No  one  could, 
possibly,  refute  that,  if  suffrage  were  a  right.  Alas, 
for  the  ignorance  of  the  human  mind,  which  can  see 


a  right  in  an  imposition.  Or  is  it  not  the  most  brutal 
imposition  for  one  set  of  people  to  make  laws  that 
another  set  is  coerced  by  force  to  obey?  Yet  woman 
clamors  for  that  "golden  opportunity"  that  has 
wrought  so  much  misery  in  the  world,  and  robbed 
man  of  his  integrity  and  self-reliance;  an  imposition 
which  has  thoroughly  corrupted  the  people,  and  made 
them  absolute  prey  in  the  hands  of  unscrupulous  poli- 

The  poor,  stupid,  free  American  citizen!  Free  to 
starve,  free  to  tramp  the  highways  of  this  great  coun- 
try, he  enjoys  universal  suffrage,  and,  by  that  right, 
he  has  forged  chains  about  his  limbs.  The  reward 
that  he  receives  is  stringent  labor  laws  prohibiting  the 
right  of  boycott,  of  picketing,  in  fact,  of  everything, 
except  the  right  to  be  robbed  of  the  fruits  of  his 
labor.  Yet  all  these  disastrous  results  of  the  twen- 
tieth-century fetich  have  taught  woman  nothing.  But, 
then,  woman  will  purify  politics,  we  are  assured. 

Needless  to  say,  I  am  not  opposed  to  woman 
suffrage  on  the  conventional  ground  that  she  is  not 
equal  to  it.  I  see  neither  physical,  psychological, 
nor  mental  reasons  why  woman  should  not  have  the 
equal  right  to  vote  with  man.  But  that  can  not 
possibly  blind  me  to  the  absurd  notion  that  woman 
will  accomplish  that  wherein  man  has  failed.  If  she 
would  not  make  things  worse,  she  certainly  could 
not  make  them  better.  To  assume,  therefore,  that 
she  would  succeed  in  purifying  something  which  is 
not  susceptible  of  purification,  is  to  credit  her  with 
supernatural  powers.  Since  woman's  greatest  mis- 
fortune has  been  that  she  was  looked  upon  as  either 


angel  or  devil,  her  true  salvation  lies  in  being  placed 
on  earth;  namely,  in  being  considered  human,  and 
therefore  subject  to  all  human  follies  and  mistakes. 
Are  we,  then,  to  believe  that  two  errors  will  make 
a  right?  Are  we  to  assume  that  the  poison  already 
inherent  in  politics  will  be  decreased,  if  women  were 
to  enter  the  political  arena?  The  most  ardent  suf- 
fragists would  hardly  maintain  such  a  folly. 

As  a  matter  of  fact,  the  most  advanced  students 
of  universal  suffrage  have  come  to  realize  that  all 
existing  systems  of  political  power  are  absurd,  and 
are  completely  inadequate  to  meet  the  pressing  issues 
of  life.  This  view  is  also  borne  out  by  a  statement 
of  one  who  is  herself  an  ardent  believer  in  woman 
suffrage.  Dr.  Helen  L.  Sumner.  In  her  able  work 
on  Equal  Suffrage,  she  says :  "In  Colorado,  we  find 
that  equal  suffrage  serves  to  show  in  the  most  strik- 
ing way  the  essential  rottenness  and  degrading  char- 
acter of  the  existing  system."  Of  course,  Dr.  Sumner 
has  in  mind  a  particular  system  of  voting,  but  the 
same  applies  with  equal  force  to  the  entire  machinery 
of  the  representative  system.  With  such  a  basis,  it 
is  difficult  to  understand  how  woman,  as  a  political 
factor,  would  benefit  either  herself  or  the  rest  of 

But,  say  our  suffrage  devotees,  look  at  the  coun- 
tries and  States  where  female  suffrage  exists.  See 
what  woman  has  accomplished — in  Australia,  New 
Zealand,  Finland,  the  Scandinavian  countries,  and  in 
our  own  four  States,  Idaho,  Colorado,  Wyoming,  and 
Utah.     Distance  lends  enchantment — or,  to  quote  a 


Polish  formula — "it  is  well  where  we  are  not."  Thus 
one  would  assume  that  those  countries  and  States 
are  unlike  other  countries  or  States,  that  they  have 
greater  freedom,  greater  social  and  economic  equality, 
a  finer  appreciation  of  human  life,  deeper  understand- 
ing of  the  great  social  struggle,  with  all  the  vital 
questions  it  involves  for  the  human  race. 

The  women  of  Australia  and  New  Zealand  can 
vote,  and  help  make  the  laws.  Are  the  labor  condi- 
tions better  there  than  they  are  in  England,  where 
the  suffragettes  are  making  such  a  heroic  struggle? 
Does  there  exist  a  greater  motherhood,  happier  and 
freer  children  than  in  England?  Is  woman  there  no 
longer  considered  a  mere  sex  commodity?  Has 
she  emancipated  herself  from  the  Puritanical  double 
standard  of  morality  for  men  and  women?  Certainly 
none  but  the  ordinary  female  stump  politician  will 
dare  answer  these  questions  in  the  affirmative.  If 
that  be  so,  it  seems  ridiculous  to  point  to  Australia 
and  New  Zealand  as  the  Mecca  of  equal  suffrage 

On  the  other  hand,  it  is  a  fact  to  those  who 
know  the  real  political  conditions  in  Australia,  that 
politics  have  gagged  labor  by  enacting  the  most 
stringent  labor  laws,  making  strikes  without  the  sanc- 
tion of  an  arbitration  committee  a  crime  equal  to 

Not  for  a  moment  do  I  mean  to  imply  that  woman 
suffrage  is  responsible  for  this  state  of  affairs.  I 
do  mean,  however,  that  there  is  no  reason  to  point 
to  Australia  as  a  wonder-worker  of  woman's  accom- 


plishment,  since  her  influence  has  been  unable  to  free 
labor  from  the  thraldom  of  political  bossism. 

Finland  has  given  woman  equal  suffrage;  nay, 
even  the  right  to  sit  in  Parliament.  Has  that  helped 
to  develop  a  greater  heroism,  an  intenser  zeal  than 
that  of  the  women  of  Russia?  Finland,  like  Russia, 
smarts  under  the  terrible  whip  of  the  bloody  Tsar. 
Where  are  the  Finnish  Perovskaias,  Spiridonovas, 
Figners,  Breshkovskaias  ?  Where  are  the  countless 
numbers  of  Finnish  young  girls  who  cheerfully  go 
to  Siberia  for  their  cause?  Finland  is  sadly  in  need 
of  heroic  liberators.  Why  has  the  ballot  not  created 
them?  The  only  Finnish  avenger  of  his  people  was 
a  man,  not  a  woman,  and  he  used  a  more  effective 
weapon  than  the  ballot. 

As  to  our  own  States  where  women  vote,  and 
which  are  constantly  being  pointed  out  as  examples  of 
marvels,  what  has  been  accomplished  there  through 
the  ballot  that  women  do  not  to  a  large  extent  enjoy 
in  other  States ;  or  that  they  could  not  achieve  through 
energetic  efforts  without  the  ballot  ? 

True,  in  the  suffrage  States  women  are  guaranteed 
equal  rights  to  property;  but  of  what  avail  is  that 
right  to  the  n  ass  of  women  without  property,  the 
thousands  of  wage  workers,  who  live  from  hand  to 
mouth?  That  equal  suffrage  did  not,  and  cannot, 
affect  their  condition  is  admitted  even  by  Dr.  Sumner, 
who  certainly  is  in  a  position  to  know.  As  an  ardent 
suffragist,  and  having  been  sent  to  Colorado  by  the 
Collegiate  Equal  Suffrage  League  of  New  York 
State  to  collect  material  in  favor  of  suffrage,  she 
would  be  the  last  to   say  anything  derogatory;  yet 


we  are  informed  that  "equal  suffrage  has  but  slightly 
affected  the  economic  conditions  of  women.  That 
women  do  not  receive  equal  pay  for  equal  work,  and 
that,  though  woman  in  Colorado  has  enjoyed  school 
suffrage  since  1876,  women  teachers  are  paid  less 
than  in  California."  On  the  other  hand,  Miss  Sum- 
ner fails  to  account  for  the  fact  that  although  women 
have  had  school  suffrage  for  thirty-four  years,  and 
equal  suffrage  since  1894,  the  census  in  Denver  alone 
a  few  months  ago  disclosed  the  fact  of  fifteen  thou- 
sand defective  school  children.  And  that,  too,  with 
mostly  women  in  the  educational  department,  and  also 
notwithstanding  that  women  in  Colorado  have  passed 
the  "most  stringent  laws  for  child  and  animal  pro- 
tection." The  women  of  Colorado  "have  taken  great 
interest  in  the  State  institutions  for  the  care  of 
dependent,  defective,  and  delinquent  children."  What 
a  horrible  indictment  against  woman's  care  and  inter- 
est, if  one  city  has  fifteen  thousand  defective  children. 
What  about  the  glory  of  woman  suffrage,  since  it  has 
failed  utterly  in  the  most  important  social  issue,  the 
child?  And  where  is  the  superior  sense  of  justice 
that  woman  was  to  bring  into  the  political  field? 
Where  was  it  in  1903,  when  the  mine  owners  waged 
a  guerilla  war  against  the  Western  Miners'  Union; 
when  General  Bell  established  a  reign  of  terror,  pull- 
ing men  out  of  bed  at  night,  kidnapping  them  across 
the  border  line,  throwing  them  into  bull  pens,  declar- 
ing "to  hell  with  the  Constitution,  the  club  is  the 
Constitution"?  Where  were  the  women  politicians 
then,  and  why  did  they  not  exercise  the  power  of 
their  vote?    But  they  did.     They  helped  to   defeat 


the  most  fair-minded  and  liberal  man,  Governor 
Waite.  The  latter  had  to  make  way  for  the  tool 
of  the  mine  kings,  Governor  Peabody,  the  enemy 
of  labor,  the  Tsar  of  Colorado.  "Certainly  male 
suffrage  could  have  done  nothing  worse."  Granted. 
Wherein,  then,  are  the  advantages  to  woman  and 
society  from  woman  suffrage?  The  oft-repeated 
assertion  that  woman  will  purify  politics  is  also  but 
a  myth.  It  is  not  borne  out  by  the  people  who  know 
the  political  conditions  of  Idaho,  Colorado,  Wyoming, 
and  Utah. 

Woman,  essentially  a  purist,  is  naturally  bigoted 
and  relentless  in  her  effort  to  make  others  as  good 
as  she  thinks  they  ought  to  be.  Thus,  in  Idaho,  she 
has  disfranchised  her  sister  of  the  street,  and  declared 
all  women  of  "lewd  character"  unfit  to  vote.  "Lewd" 
not  being  interpreted,  of  course,  as  prostitution  in 
marriage.  It  goes  without  saying  that  illegal  prosti- 
tution and  gambling  have  been  prohibited.  In  this 
regard  the  law  must  needs  be  of  feminine  gender:  it 
always  prohibits.  Therein  all  laws  are  wonderful. 
They  go  no  further,  but  their  very  tendencies  open 
all  the  floodgates  of  hell.  Prostitution  and  gambling 
have  never  done  a  more  flourishing  business  than 
since  the  law  has  been  set  against  them. 

In  Colorado,  the  Puritanism  of  woman  has 
expressed  itself  in  a  more  drastic  form.  "Men  of 
notoriously  unclean  lives,  and  men  connected  with 
saloons,  have  been  dropped  from  politics  since  women 
have  the  vote."*     Could  Brother  Comstock  do  more? 

*  Equal  Suffrage,  Dr.  Helen  Sumner. 


Could  all  the  Puritan  fathers  have  done  more?  I 
wonder  how  many  women  realize  the  gravity  of  this 
would-be  feat.  I  wonder  if  they  understand  that  it 
is  the  very  thing  which,  instead  of  elevating  woman, 
has  made  her  a  political  spy,  a  contemptible  pry  into 
the  private  affairs  of  people,  not  so  much  for  the 
good  of  the  cause,  but  because,  as  a  Colorado  woman 
said,  "they  like  to  get  into  houses  they  have  never 
been  in,  and  find  out  all  they  can,  politically  and 
otherwise."*  Yes,  and  into  the  human  soul  and  its 
minutest  nooks  and  corners.  For  nothing  satisfies 
the  craving  of  most  women  so  much  as  scandal.  And 
when  did  she  ever  enjoy  such  opportunities  as  are 
hers,  the  politician's? 

"Notoriously  unclean  lives,  and  men  connected 
with  the  saloons."  Certainly,  the  lady  vote  gatherers 
can  not  be  -accused  of  much  sense  of  proportion. 
Granting  even  that  these  busybodies  can  decide  whose 
lives  are  clean  enough  for  that  eminently  clean  at- 
mosphere, politics,  must  it  follow  that  saloon-keepers 
belong  to  the  same  category?  Unless  it  be  American 
hypocrisy  and  bigotry,  so  manifest  in  the  principle 
of  Prohibition,  which  sanctions  the  spread  of  drunk- 
enness among  men  and  women  of  the  rich  class,  yet 
keeps  vigilant  watch  on  the  only  place  left  to  the 
poor  man.  If  no  other  reason,  woman's  narrow 
and  purist  attitude  toward  life  makes  her  a  greater 
danger  to  liberty  wherever  she  has  political  power. 
Man  has  long  overcome  the  superstitions  that  still 
engulf   woman.     In   the   economic   competitive   field, 

*  Equal  Suffrage. 


man  has  been  compelled  to  exercise  efficiency,  judg- 
ment, ability,  competency.  He  therefore  had  neither 
time  nor  inclination  to  measure  everyone's  morality 
with  a  Puritanic  yardstick.  In  his  political  activities, 
too,  he  has  not  gone  about  blindfolded.  He  knows 
that  quantity  and  not  quality  is  the  material  for  the 
political  grinding  mill,  and,  unless  he  is  a  sentimental 
reformer  or  an  old  fossil,  he  knows  that  politics  can 
never  be  anything  but  a  swamp. 

Women  who  are  at  all  conversant  with  the  process 
of  politics,  know  the  nature  of  the  beast,  but  in 
their  self-sufficiency  and  egotism  they  make  them- 
selves believe  that  they  have  but  to  pet  the  beast, 
and  he  will  become  as  gentle  as  a  lamb,  sweet  and 
pure.  As  if  women  have  not  sold  their  votes,  as  if 
women  politicians  cannot  be  bought!  H  her  body 
can  be  bought  in  return  for  material  consideration, 
why  not  her  vote  ?  That  it  is  being  done  in  Colorado 
and  in  other  States,  is  not  denied  even  by  those  in 
favor  of  woman  suffrage. 

As  I  have  said  before,  woman's  narrow  view  of 
human  affairs  is  not  the  only  argument  against  her 
as  a  politician  superior  to  man.  There  are  others. 
Her  life-long  economic  parasitism  has  utterly  blurred 
her  conception  of  the  meaning  of  equality.  She 
clamors  for  equal  rights  with  man,  yet  we  learn  that 
"few  women  care  to  canvas  in  undesirable  districts."* 
How  little  equality  means  to  them  compared  with  the 
Russian  women,  who  face  hell  itself  for  their  ideal ! 

Woman   demands   the   same   rights   as   man,   yet 

*  Dr.  Helen  A.  Sumner. 


she  is  indignant  that  her  presence  does  not  strike  him 
dead:  he  smokes,  keeps  his  hat  on,  and  does  not 
jump  from  his  seat  Hke  a  flunkey.  These  may  be 
trivial  things,  but  they  are  nevertheless  the  key  to 
the  nature  of  American  suffragists.  To  be  sure, 
their  English  sisters  have  outgrown  these  silly  notions. 
They  have  shown  themselves  equal  to  the  greatest 
demands  on  their  character  and  power  of  endurance. 
All  honor  to  the  heroism  and  sturdiness  of  the  English 
suffragettes.  Thanks  to  their  energetic,  aggressive 
methods,  they  have  proved  an  inspiration  to  some  of 
our  own  lifeless  and  spineless  ladies.  But  after  all, 
the  suffragettes,  too,  are  still  lacking  in  appreciation 
of  real  equality.  Else  how  is  one  to  account  for  the 
tremendous,  truly  gigantic  effort  set  in  motion  by 
those  valiant  fighters  for  a  w^retched  little  bill  which 
will  benefit  a  handful  of  propertied  ladies,  with  abso- 
lutely no  provision  for  the  vast  mass  of  working- 
women?  True,  as  politicians  they  must  be  opportun- 
ists, must  take  half-measures  if  they  can  not  get  all. 
But  as  intelligent  and  liberal  women  they  ought  to 
realize  that  if  the  ballot  is  a  weapon,  the  disinherited 
need  it  more  than  the  economically  superior  class,  and 
that  the  latter  already  enjoy  too  much  power  by 
virtue  of  their  economic  superiority. 

The  brilliant  leader  of  the  English  suffragettes, 
Mrs.  Emmeline  Pankhurst,  herself  admitted,  when  on 
her  American  lecture  tour,  that  there  can  be  no  equal- 
ity between  political  superiors  and  inferiors.  If  so, 
how  will  the  workingwomen  of  England,  already 
inferior  economically  to  the  ladies  who  are  benefited 


by  the  Shackleton  bill,*  be  able  to  work  with  their 
political  superiors,  should  the  bill  pass?  Is  it  not 
probable  that  the  class  of  Annie  Keeney,  so  full  of 
zeal,  devotion,  and  martyrdom,  will  be  compelled  to 
carry  on  their  backs  their  female  political  bosses, 
even  as  they  are  carrying  their  economic  masters. 
They  would  still  have  to  do  it,  were  universal  suf- 
frage for  men  and  women  established  in  England. 
No  matter  what  the  workers  do,  they  are  made  to 
pay,  always.  Still,  those  who  believe  in  the  power 
of  the  vote  show  little  sense  of  justice  when  they 
concern  themselves  not  at  all  with  those  whom,  as 
they  claim,  it  might  serve  most. 

The  American  suffrage  movement  has  been,  until 
very  recently,  altogether  a  parlor  affair,  absolutely 
detached  from  the  economic  needs  of  the  people. 
Thus  Susan  B.  Anthony,  no  doubt  an  exceptional 
type  of  woman,  was  not  only  indifferent  but  antag- 
onistic to  labor;  nor  did  she  hesitate  to  manifest  her 
antagonism  when,  in  1869,  she  advised  women  to 
take  the  places  of  striking  printers  in  New  York.f 
I  do  not  know  whether  her  attitude  had  changed 
before  her  death. 

There  are,  of  course,  some  suffragists  who  are 
affiliated  with  workingwomen — the  Women's  Trade 
Union  League,  for  instance;  but  they  are  a  small 
minority,  and  their  activities  are  essentially  economic. 
The  rest  look  upon  toil  as  a  just  provision  of  Provi- 

*  Mr.  Shackleton  was  a  labor  leader.  It  is  therefore  self- 
evident  that  he  should  introduce  a  bill  excluding  his  own  con- 
stituents.    The  English  Parliament  is  full  of  such  Judases. 

t  Equal  Suffrage,  Dr.  Helen  A.  Sumner. 


dence.  What  would  become  of  the  rich,  if  not  for 
the  poor?  What  would  become  of  these  idle,  para- 
sitic ladies,  who  squander  more  in  a  week  than  their 
victims  earn  in  a  year,  if  not  for  the  eighty  million 
wage- workers  ?  Equality,  who  ever  heard  of  such  a 
thing  ? 

Few  countries  have  produced  such  arrogance  and 
snobbishness  as  America.  Particularly  is  this  true  of 
the  American  woman  of  the  middle  class.  She  not 
only  considers  herself  the  equal  of  man,  but  his  supe- 
rior, especially  in  her  purity,  goodness,  and  morality. 
Small  wonder  that  the  American  suffragist  claims  for 
her  vote  the  most  miraculous  powers.  In  her  exalted 
conceit  she  does  not  see  how  truly  enslaved  she  is, 
not  so  much  by  man,  as  by  her  own  silly  notions  and 
traditions.  Suffrage  can  not  ameliorate  that  sad 
fact;  it  can  only  accentuate  it,  as  indeed  it  does. 

One  of  the  great  American  women  leaders  claims 
that  woman  is  entitled  not  only  to  equal  pay,  but 
that  she  ought  to  be  legally  entitled  even  to  the  pay 
of  her  husband.  Failing  to  support  her,  he  should  be 
put  in  convict  stripes,  and  his  earnings  in  prison  be 
collected  by  his  equal  wife.  Does  not  another  bril- 
liant exponent  of  the  cause  claim  for  woman  that  her 
vote  will  abolish  the  social  evil,  which  has  been  fought 
in  vain  by  the  collective  efforts  of  the  most  illustrious 
minds  the  world  over?  It  is  indeed  to  be  regretted 
that  the  alleged  creator  of  the  universe  has  already 
presented  us  with  his  wonderful  scheme  of  things, 
else  woman  suffrage  would  surely  enable  woman  to 
outdo  him  completely. 

Nothing  is  so  dangerous  as  the  dissection  of   a 


fetich.  If  we  have  outlived  the  time  when  such  heresy 
was  punishable  by  the  stake,  we  have  not  outlived 
the  narrow  spirit  of  condemnation  of  those  who  dare 
differ  with  accepted  notions.  Therefore  I  shall  prob- 
ably be  put  down  as  an  opponent  of  woman.  But  that 
can  not  deter  me  from  looking  the  question  squarely  in 
the  face.  I  repeat  what  I  have  said  in  the  beginning: 
I  do  not  believe  that  woman  will  make  politics  worse  ; 
nor  can  I  believe  that  she  could  make  it  better.  If, 
then,  she  cannot  improve  on  man's  mistakes,  why 
perpetrate  the  latter? 

History  may  be  a  compilation  of  lies;  nevertheless, 
it  contains  a  few  truths,  and  they  are  the  only  guide 
we  have  for  the  future.  The  history  of  the  political 
activities  of  men  proves  that  they  have  given  him 
absolutely  nothing  that  he  could  not  have  achieved 
in  a  more  direct,  less  costly,  and  more  lasting  man- 
ner. As  a  matter  of  fact,  every  inch  of  ground  he 
has  gained  has  been  through  a  constant  fight,  a  cease- 
less struggle  for  self-assertion,  and  not  through 
suffrage.  There  is  no  reason  whatever  to  assume 
that  woman,  in  her  climb  to  emancipation,  has  been, 
or  will  be,  helped  by  the  ballot. 

In  the  darkest  of  all  countries,  Russia,  with  her 
absolute  despotism,  woman  has  become  man's  equal, 
not  through  the  ballot,  but  by  her  will  to  be  and  to 
do.  Not  only  has  she  conquered  for  herself  every 
avenue  of  learning  and  vocation,  but  she  has  won 
man's  esteem,  his  respect,  his  comradeship;  aye,  even 
more  than  that:  she  has  gained  the  admiration,  the 
respect  of  the  whole  world.  That,  too,  not  through 
suffrage,  but  by  her  wonderful  heroism,  her  fortitude, 


her  ability,  willpower,  and  her  endurance  in  her 
struggle  for  liberty.  Where  are  the  women  in  any 
suffrage  country  or  State  that  can  lay  claim  to  such 
a  victory?  When  we  consider  the  accomplishments 
of  woman  in  America,  we  find  also  that  something 
deeper  and  more  powerful  than  suffrage  has  helped 
her  in  the  march  to  emancipation. 

It  is  just  sixty-two  years  ago  since  a  handful  of 
women  at  the  Seneca  Falls  Convention  set  forth  a 
few  demands  for  their  right  to  equal  education  with 
men,  and  access  to  the  various  professions,  trades, 
etc.  What  wonderful  accomplishments,  what  wonder- 
ful triumphs !  Who  but  the  most  ignorant  dare  speak 
of  woman  as  a  mere  domestic  drudge?  Who  dare 
suggest  that  this  or  that  profession  should  not  be 
open  to  her?  For  over  sixty  years  she  has  molded 
a  new  atmosphere  and  a  new  life  for  herself.  She 
has  become  a  world-power  in  every  domain  of  human 
thought  and  activity.  And  all  that  without  suffrage, 
without  the  right  to  make  laws,  without  the  "privi- 
lege" of  becoming  a  judge,  a  jailer,  or  an  executioner. 

Yes,  I  may  be  considered  an  enemy  of  woman; 
but  if  I  can  help  her  see  the  light,  I  shall  not  com- 

The  misfortune  of  woman  is  not  that  she  is  unable 
to  do  the  work  of  a  man,  but  that  she  is  wasting 
her  life-force  to  outdo  him,  with  a  tradition  of  cen- 
turies which  has  left  her  physically  incapable  of  keep- 
ing pace  with  him.  Oh,  I  know  some  have  succeeded, 
but  at  what  cost,  at  what  terrific  cost!  The  import 
is  not  the  kind  of  work  woman  does,  but  rather  the 
quality  of  the  work   she   furnishes.     She   can   give 


suffrage  or  the  ballot  no  new  quality,  nor  can  she 
receive  anything  from  it  that  will  enhance  her  own 
quality.  Her  development,  her  freedom,  her  inde- 
pendence, must  come  from  and  through  herself. 
First,  by  asserting  herself  as  a  personality,  and  not 
as  a  sex  commodity.  Second,  by  refusing  the  right 
to  anyone  over  her  body;  by  refusing  to  bear  chil- 
dren, unless  she  wants  them;  by  refusing  to  be  a 
servant  to  God,  the  State,  society,  the  husband,  the 
family,  etc.,  by  making  her  life  simpler,  but  deeper 
and  richer.  That  is,  by  trying  to  learn  the  meaning 
and  substance  of  life  in  all  its  complexities,  by  free- 
ing herself  from  the  fear  of  public  opinion  and  public 
condemnation.  Only  that,  and  not  the  ballot,  will 
set  woman  free,  will  make  her  a  force  hitherto  un- 
known in  the  world,  a  force  for  real  love,  for  peace, 
for  harmony;  a  force  of  divine  fire,  of  life-giving; 
a  creator  of  free  men  and  women. 


I  BEGIN  with  an  admission :  Regardless  of  all  political 
and  economic  theories,  treating  of  the  fundamental 
differences  between  various  groups  within  the  human 
race,  regardless  of  class  and  race  distinctions,  regard- 
less of  all  artificial  boundary  lines  between  woman's 
rights  and  man's  rights,  I  hold  that  there  is  a  point 
where  these  differentiations  may  meet  and  grow  into 
one  perfect  whole. 

With  this  I  do  not  mean  to  propose  a  peace  treaty. 
The  general  social  antagonism  which  has  taken  hold 
of  our  entire  public  life  today,  brought  about  through 
the  force  of  opposing  and  contradictory  interests,  will 
crumble  to  pieces  when  the  reorganization  of  our 
social  life,  based  upon  the  principles  of  economic 
justice,  shall  have  become  a  reality. 

Peace  or  harmony  between  the  sexes  and  indi- 
viduals does  not  necessarily  depend  on  a  superficial 
equalization  of  human  beings ;  nor  does  it  call  for  the 
elimination  of  individual  traits  and  peculiarities.  The 
problem  that  confronts  us  today,  and  which  the  near- 
est future  is  to  solve,  is  how  to  be  one's  self  and  yet 


in  oneness  with  others,  to  feel  deeply  with  all  human 
beings  and  still  retain  one's  own  characteristic  quali- 
ties. This  seems  to  me  to  be  the  basis  upon  which 
the  mass  and  the  individual,  the  true  democrat  and 
the  true  individuality,  man  and  woman,  can  meet 
without  antagonism  and  opposition.  The  motto 
should  not  be:  Forgive  one  another;  rather,  Under- 
stand one  another.  The  oft-quoted  sentence  of 
Madame  de  Stael :  "To  understand  everything  means 
to  forgive  everything,"  has  never  particularly  ap- 
pealed to  me ;  it  has  the  odor  of  the  confessional ;  to 
forgive  one's  fellow-being  conveys  the  idea  of  phar- 
isaical  superiority.  To  understand  one's  fellow-being 
suffices.  The  admission  partly  represents  the  funda- 
mental aspect  of  my  views  on  the  emancipation  of 
woman  and  its  effect  upon  the  entire  sex. 

Emancipation  should  make  it  possible  for  woman 
to  be  human  in  the  truest  sense.  Everything  within 
her  that  craves  assertion  and  activity  should  reach 
its  fullest  expression ;  all  artificial  barriers  should  be 
broken,  and  the  road  towards  greater  freedom  cleared 
of  every  trace  of  centuries  of  submission  and  slavery. 

This  was  the  original  aim  of  the  movement  for 
woman's  emancipation.  But  the  results  so  far 
achieved  have  isolated  woman  and  have  robbed  her 
of  the  fountain  springs  of  that  happiness  which  is  so 
essential  to  her.  Merely  external  emancipation  has 
made  of  the  modern  woman  an  artificial  being,  who 
reminds  one  of  the  products  of  French  arboriculture 
with  its  arabesque  trees  and  shrubs,  pyramids,  wheels, 
and  wreaths ;  anything,  except  the  forms  which  would 
be  reached  by  the  expression  of  her  own  inner  quali- 


ties.  Such  artificially  grown  plants  of  the  female  sex 
are  to  be  found  in  large  numbers,  especially  in  the 
so-called  intellectual  sphere  of  our  life. 

Liberty  and  equality  for  woman!  What  hopes 
and  aspirations  these  words  awakened  when  they 
were  first  uttered  by  some  of  the  noblest  and  bravest 
souls  of  those  days.  The  sun  in  all  his  light  and 
glory  was  to  rise  upon  a  new  world;  in  this  world 
woman  was  to  be  free  to  direct  her  own  destiny — 
an  aim  certainly  worthy  of  the  great  enthusiasm, 
courage,  perseverance,  and  ceaseless  efiFort  of  the  tre- 
mendous host  of  pioneer  men  and  women,  who  staked 
everything  against  a  world  of  prejudice  and  ignorance. 

My  hopes  also  move  towards  that  goal,  but  I  hold 
that  the  emancipation  of  woman,  as  interpreted  and 
practically  applied  today,  has  failed  to  reach  that 
great  end.  Now,  woman  is  confronted  with  the 
necessity  of  emancipating  herself  from  emancipation, 
if  she  really  desires  to  be  free.  This  may  sound 
paradoxical,  but  is,  nevertheless,  only  too  true. 

What  has  she  achieved  through  her  emancipation? 
Equal  suffrage  in  a  few  States.  Has  that  purified  our 
political  life,  as  many  well-meaning  advocates  pre- 
dicted? Certainly  not.  Incidentally,  it  is  really  time 
that  persons  with  plain,  sound  judgment  should  cease 
to  talk  about  corruption  in  politics  in  a  boarding- 
school  tone.  Corruption  of  politics  has  nothing  to  do 
with  the  morals,  or  the  laxity  of  morals,  of  various 
political  personalities.  Its  cause  is  altogether  a 
material  one.  Politics  is  the  reflex  of  the  business  and 
industrial  world,  the  mottos  of  which  are:  "To  take 
is  more  blessed  than  to  give";  "buy  cheap  and  sell 


dear" ;  "one  soiled  hand  washes  the  other."  There  is 
no  hope  even  that  woman,  with  her  right  to  vote,  will 
ever  purify  politics. 

Emancipation  has  brought  woman  economic  equal- 
ity with  man;  that  is,  she  can  choose  her  own  pro- 
fession and  trade ;  but  as  her  past  and  present  physical 
training  has  not  equipped  her  with  the  necessary 
strength  to  compete  with  man,  she  is  often  compelled 
to  exhaust  all  her  energy,  use  up  her  vitality,  and 
strain  every  nerve  in  order  to  reach  the  market  value. 
Very  few  ever  succeed,  for  it  is  a  fact  that  women 
teachers,  doctors,  lawyers,  architects,  and  engineers 
are  neither  met  with  the  same  confidence  as  their 
male  colleagues,  nor  receive  equal  remuneration. 
And  those  that  do  reach  that  enticing  equality,  gen- 
erally do  so  at  the  expense  of  their  physical  and 
psychical  well-being.  As  to  the  great  mass  of  work- 
ing girls  and  women,  how  much  independence  is 
gained  if  the  narrowness  and  lack  of  freedom  of  the 
home  is  exchanged  for  the  narrowness  and  lack  of 
freedom  of  the  factory,  sweat-shop,  department  store, 
or  office?  In  addition  is  the  burden  which  is  laid  on 
many  women  of  looking  after  a  "home,  sweet  home" 
— cold,  dreary,  disorderly,  uninviting — after  a  day's 
hard  work.  Glorious  independence !  No  wonder  that 
hundreds  of  girls  are  so  willing  to  accept  the  first  offer 
of  marriage,  sick  and  tired  of  their  "independence" 
behind  the  counter,  at  the  sewing  or  typewriting 
machine.  They  are  just  as  ready  to  marry  as  girls  of 
the  middle  class,  who  long  to  throw  off  the  yoke  of 
parental  supremacy.  A  so-called  independence  which 
leads  only  to  earning  the  merest  subsistence  is  not  so 


enticing,  not  so  ideal,  that  one  could  expect  woman  to 
sacrifice  everything  for  it.  Our  highly  praised  inde- 
pendence is,  after  all,  but  a  slow  process  of  dulling 
and  stifling  woman's  nature,  her  love  instinct,  and  her 
mother  instinct. 

Nevertheless,  the  position  of  the  working  girl  is 
far  more  natural  and  human  than  that  of  her  seem- 
ingly more  fortunate  sister  in  the  more  cultured  pro- 
fessional walks  of  life — teachers,  physicians,  lawyers, 
engineers,  etc.,  who  have  to  make  a  dignified,  proper 
appearance,  while  the  inner  life  is  growing  empty  and 

The  narrowness  of  the  existing  conception  of 
woman's  independence  and  emancipation;  the  dread 
of  love  for  a  man  who  is  not  her  social  equal;  the 
fear  that  love  will  rob  her  of  her  freedom  and  inde- 
pendence; the  horror  that  love  or  the  joy  of  mother- 
hood will  only  hinder  her  in  the  full  exercise  of  her 
profession — all  these  together  make  of  the  emanci- 
pated modern  woman  a  compulsory  vestal,  before 
whom  life,  with  its  great  clarifying  sorrows  and  its 
deep,  entrancing  joys,  rolls  on  without  touching  or 
gripping  her  soul. 

Emancipation,  as  understood  by  the  majority  of  its 
adherents  and  exponents,  is  of  too  narrow  a  scope  to 
permit  the  boundless  love  and  ecstasy  contained  in 
the  deep  emotion  of  the  true  woman,  sweetheart, 
mother,  in  freedom. 

The  tragedy  of  the  self-supporting  or  economically 
free  woman  does  not  lie  in  too  many,  but  in  too  few 
experiences.  True,  she  surpasses  her  sister  of  past 
generations  in  knowledge  of  the  world  and  human 


nature ;  it  is  just  because  of  this  that  she  feels  deeply 
the  lack  of  life's  essence,  which  alone  can  enrich 
the  human  soul,  and  without  which  the  majority  of 
women  have  become  mere  professional  automatons. 

That  such  a  state  of  affairs  was  bound  to  come 
was  foreseen  by  those  who  realized  that,  in  the 
domain  of  ethics,  there  still  remained  many  decaying 
ruins  of  the  time  of  the  undisputed  superiority  of 
man;  ruins  that  are  still  considered  useful.  And, 
what  is  more  important,  a  goodly  number  of  the 
emancipated  are  unable  to  get  along  without  them. 
Every  movement  that  aims  at  the  destruction  of  exist- 
ing institutions  and  the  replacement  thereof  with 
something  more  advanced,  more  perfect,  has  followers 
who  in  theory  stand  for  the  most  radical  ideas,  but 
who,  nevertheless,  in  their  every-day  practice,  are  like 
the  average  Philistine,  feigning  respectability  and 
clamoring  for  the  good  opinion  of  their  opponents. 
There  are,  for  example.  Socialists,  and  even  Anarch- 
ists, who  stand  for  the  idea  that  property  is  robbery, 
yet  who  will  grow  indignant  if  anyone  owe  them  the 
value  of  a  half-dozen  pins. 

The  same  Philistine  can  be  found  in  the  move- 
ment for  woman's  emancipation.  Yellow  journalists 
and  milk-and-water  litterateurs  have  painted  pictures 
of  the  emancipated  woman  that  make  the  hair  of  the 
good  citizen  and  his  dull  companion  stand  up  on  end. 
Every  member  of  the  woman's  rights  movement  was 
pictured  as  a  George  Sand  in  her  absolute  disregard 
of  morality.  Nothing  was  sacred  to  her.  She  had 
no  respect  for  the  ideal  relation  between  man  and 
woman.    In  short,  emancipation  stood  only  for  a  reck- 


less  life  of  lust  and  sin ;  regardless  of  society,  religion, 
and  morality.  The  exponents  of  woman's  rights  were 
highly  indignant  at  such  misrepresentation,  and,  lack- 
ing humor,  they  exerted  all  their  energy  to  prove  that 
they  were  not  at  all  as  bad  as  they  were  painted,  but 
the  very  reverse.  Of  course,  as  long  as  woman  was 
the  slave  of  man,  she  could  not  be  good  and  pure,  but 
now  that  she  was  free  and  independent  she  would 
prove  how  good  she  could  be  and  that  her  influence 
would  have  a  purifying  effect  on  all  institutions  in 
society.  True,  the  movement  for  woman's  rights  has 
broken  many  old  fetters,  but  it  has  also  forged  new 
ones.  The  great  movement  of  true  emancipation  has 
not  met  with  a  great  race  of  women  who  could  look 
liberty  in  the  face.  Their  narrow,  Puritanical  vision 
banished  man,  as  a  disturber  and  doubtful  character, 
out  of  their  emotional  life.  Man  was  not  to  be 
tolerated  at  any  price,  except  perhaps  as  the  father  of 
a  child,  since  a  child  could  not  very  well  come  to  life 
without  a  father.  Fortunately,  the  most  rigid  Puri- 
tans never  will  be  strong  enough  to  kill  the  innate 
craving  for  motherhood.  But  woman's  freedom  is 
closely  allied  with  man's  freedom,  and  many  of  my 
so-called  emancipated  sisters  seem  to  overlook  the  fact 
that  a  child  born  in  freedom  needs  the  love  and  devo- 
tion of  each  human  being  about  him,  man  as  well  as 
woman.  Unfortunately,  it  is  this  narrow  conception 
of  human  relations  that  has  brought  about  a  great 
tragedy  in  the  lives  of  the  modern  man  and  woman. 
About  fifteen  years  ago  appeared  a  work  from 
the  pen  of  the  brilliant  Norwegian  Laura  Marholm, 
called  Woman,  a  Character  Study.     She  was  one  of 


the  first  to  call  attention  to  the  emptiness  and  narrow- 
ness of  the  existing  conception  of  woman's  eman- 
cipation, and  its  tragic  effect  upon  the  inner  life  of 
woman.  In  her  work  Laura  Marholm  speaks  of  the 
fate  of  several  gifted  women  of  international  fame: 
the  genius  Eleonora  Duse;  the  great  mathematician 
and  writer  Sonya  Kovalevskaia ;  the  artist  and  poet- 
nature  Marie  Bashkirtzeff,  who  died  so  young. 
Through  each  description  of  the  lives  of  these  women 
of  such  extraordinary  mentality  runs  a  marked  trail 
of  unsatisfied  craving  for  a  full,  rounded,  complete, 
and  beautiful  life,  and  the  unrest  and  loneliness  re- 
sulting from  the  lack  of  it.  Through  these  masterly 
psychological  sketches  one  cannot  help  but  see  that 
the  higher  the  mental  development  of  woman,  the  less 
possible  it  is  for  her  to  meet  a  congenial  mate  who 
will  see  in  her,  not  only  sex,  but  also  the  human 
being,  the  friend,  the  comrade  and  strong  individual- 
ity, who  cannot  and  ought  not  lose  a  single  trait  of 
her  character. 

The  average  man  with  his  self-sufficiency,  his 
ridiculously  superior  airs  of  patronage  towards  the 
female  sex,  is  an  impossibility  for  woman  as  depicted 
in  the  Character  Study  by  Laura  Marholm.  Equally 
impossible  for  her  is  the  man  who  can  see  in  her 
nothing  more  than  her  mentality  and  her  genius,  and 
who  fails  to  awaken  her  woman  nature. 

A  rich  intellect  and  a  fine  soul  are  usually  con- 
sidered necessary  attributes  of  a  deep  and  beautiful 
personality.  In  the  case  of  the  modern  woman,  these 
attributes  serve  as  a  hindrance  to  the  complete  asser- 
tion of  her  being.    For  over  a  hundred  years  the  old 


form  of  marriage,  based  on  the  Bible,  "till  death 
doth  part,"  has  been  denounced  as  an  institution  that 
stands  for  the  sovereignty  of  the  man  over  the 
woman,  of  her  complete  submission  to  his  whims  and 
commands,  and  absolute  dependence  on  his  name  and 
support.  Time  and  again  it  has  been  conclusively 
proved  that  the  old  matrimonial  relation  restricted 
woman  to  the  function  of  man's  servant  and  the 
bearer  of  his  children.  And  yet  we  find  many  eman- 
cipated women  who  prefer  marriage,  with  all  its 
deficiencies,  to  the  narrowness  of  an  unmarried  life*: 
narrow  and  unendurable  because  of  the  chains  of 
moral  and  social  prejudice  that  cramp  and  bind  her 

The  explanation  of  such  inconsistency  on  the  part 
of  many  advanced  women  is  to  be  found  in  the  fact 
that  they  never  truly  understood  the  meaning  of 
emancipation.  They  thought  that  all  that  was  needed 
was  independence  from  external  tyrannies;  the  in- 
ternal tyrants,  far  more  harmful  to  life  and  growth — 
ethical  and  social  conventions — were  left  to  take  care 
of  themselves;  and  they  have  taken  care  of  them- 
selves. They  seem  to  get  along  as  beautifully  in  the 
heads  and  hearts  of  the  most  active  exponents  of 
woman's  emancipation,  as  in  the  heads  and  hearts 
of  our  grandmothers. 

These  internal  tyrants,  whether  they  be  in  the 
form  of  public  opinion  or  what  will  mother  say,  or 
brother,  father,  aunt,  or  relative  of  any  sort;  what 
will  Mrs.  Grundy,  Mr.  Comstock,  the  employer,  the 
Board  of  Education  say?  All  these  busybodies, 
moral  detectives,  jailers  of  the  human  spirit,  what 


will  they  say  ?  Until  woman  has  learned  to  defy  them 
all,  to  stand  firmly  on  her  own  ground  and  to  insist 
upon  her  own  unrestricted  freedom,  to  listen  to  the 
voice  of  her  nature,  whether  it  call  for  life's  greatest 
treasure,  love  for  a  man,  or  her  most  glorious  priv- 
ilege, the  right  to  give  birth  to  a  child,  she  cannot  call 
herself  emancipated.  How  many  emancipated  women 
are  brave  enough  to  acknowledge  that  the  voice  of 
love  is  calling,  wildly  beating  against  their  breasts, 
demanding  to  be  heard,  to  be  satisfied. 

The  French  writer  Jean  Reibrach,  in  one  of  his 
novels.  New  Beauty,  attempts  to  picture  the  ideal, 
beautiful,  emancipated  woman.  This  ideal  is  em- 
bodied in  a  young  girl,  a  physician.  She  talks  very 
cleverly  and  wisely  of  how  to  feed  infants;  she  is 
kind,  and  administers  medicines  free  to  poor  mothers. 
She  converses  with  a  young  man  of  her  acquaintance 
about  the  sanitary  conditions  of  the  future,  and  how 
various  bacilli  and  germs  shall  be  exterminated  by 
the  use  of  stone  walls  and  floors,  and  by  the  doing 
away  with  rugs  and  hangings.  She  is,  of  course,  very 
plainly  and  practically  dressed,  mostly  in  black.  The 
young  man,  who,  at  their  first  meeting,  was  overawed 
by  the  wisdom  of  his  emancipated  friend,  gradually 
learns  to  understand  her,  and  recognizes  one  fine 
day  that  he  loves  her.  They  are  young,  and  she  is 
kind  and  beautiful,  and  though  always  in  rigid  attire, 
her  appearance  is  softened  by  a  spotlessly  clean  white 
collar  and  cuffs.  One  would  expect  that  he  would 
tell  her  of  his  love,  but  he  is  not  one  to  commit 
romantic  absurdities.  Poetry  and  the  enthusiasm  of 
love  cover  their  blushing  faces  before  the  pure  beauty 


of  the  lady.  He  silences  the  voice  of  his  nature,  and 
remains  correct.  She,  too,  is  always  exact,  always 
rational,  always  well  behaved.  I  fear  if  they  had 
formed  a  union,  the  young  man  would  have  risked 
freezing  to  death.  I  must  confess  that  I  can  see 
nothing  beautiful  in  this  new  beauty,  who  is  as  cold 
as  the  stone  walls  and  floors  she  dreams  of.  Rather 
would  I  have  the  love  songs  of  romantic  ages,  rather 
Don  Juan  and  Madame  Venus,  rather  an  elopement 
by  ladder  and  rope  on  a  moonlight  night,  followed 
by  the  father's  curse,  mother's  moans,  and  the  moral 
comments  of  neighbors,  than  correctness  and  propri- 
ety measured  by  yardsticks.  If  love  does  not  know 
how  to  give  and  take  without  restrictions,  it  is  not 
love,  but  a  transaction  that  never  fails  to  lay  stress  on 
a  plus  and  a  minus. 

The  greatest  shortcoming  of  the  emancipation  of 
the  present  day  lies  in  its  artificial  stiffness  and  its 
narrow  respectabilities,  which  produce  an  emptiness 
in  woman's  soul  that  will  not  let  her  drink  from  the 
fountain  of  life.  I  once  remarked  that  there  seemed 
to  be  a  deeper  relationship  between  the  old-fashioned 
mother  and  hostess,  ever  on  the  alert  for  the  happi- 
ness of  her  little  ones  and  the  comfort  of  those  she 
loved,  and  the  truly  new  woman,  than  between  the 
latter  and  her  average  emancipated  sister.  The  dis- 
ciples of  emancipation  pure  and  simple  declared  me 
a  heathen,  fit  only  for  the  stake.  Their  blind  zeal 
did  not  let  them  see  that  my  comparison  between 
the  old  and  the  new  was  merely  to  prove  that  a 
goodly  number  of  our  grandmothers  had  more  blood 
in  their  veins,  far  more  humor  and  wit,  and  certainly 


a  greater  amount  of  naturalness,  kind-heartedness, 
and  simplicity,  than  the  majority  of  our  emancipated 
professional  women  who  fill  the  colleges,  halls  of 
learning,  and  various  offices.  This  does  not  mean  a 
wish  to  return  to  the  past,  nor  does  it  condemn 
woman  to  her  old  sphere,  the  kitchen  and  the  nursery. 
Salvation  lies  in  an  energetic  march  onward 
towards  a  brighter  and  clearer  future.  We  are  in 
need  of  unhampered  growth  out  of  old  traditions  and 
habits.  The  movement  for  woman's  emancipation 
has  so  far  made  but  the  first  step  in  that  direction. 
It  is  to  be  hoped  that  it  will  gather  strength  to  make 
another.  The  right  to  vote,  or  equal  civil  rights, 
may  be  good  demands,  but  true  emancipation  begins 
neither  at  the  polls  nor  in  courts.  It  begins  in 
woman's  soul.  History  tells  us  that  every  oppressed 
class  gained  true  liberation  from  its  masters  through 
its  own  efforts.  It  is  necessary  that  woman  learn 
that  lesson,  that  she  realize  that  her  freedom  will 
reach  as  far  as  her  power  to  achieve  her  freedom 
reaches.  It  is,  therefore,  far  more  important  for  her 
to  begin  with  her  inner  regeneration,  to  cut  loose 
from  the  weight  of  prejudices,  traditions,  and  cus- 
toms. The  demand  for  equal  rights  in  every  vocation 
of  life  is  just  and  fair;  but,  after  all,  the  most  vital 
right  is  the  right  to  love  and  be  loved.  Indeed,  if 
partial  emancipation  is  to  become  a  complete  and  true 
emancipation  of  woman,  it  will  have  to  do  away  with 
the  ridiculous  notion  that  to  be  loved,  to  be  sweetheart 
and  mother,  is  synonymous  with  being  slave  or  sub- 
ordinate.    It  will  have  to  do  away  with  the  absurd 


notion  of  the  dualism  of  the  sexes,  or  that  man  and 
woman  represent  two  antagonistic  worlds. 

Pettiness  separates ;  breadth  unites.  Let  us  be 
broad  and  big.  Let  us  not  overlook  vital  things 
because  of  the  bulk  of  trifles  confronting  us.  A  true 
conception  of  the  relation  of  the  sexes  will  not  admit 
of  conqueror  and  conquered;  it  knows  of  but  one 
great  thing:  to  give  of  one's  self  boundlessly,  in  order 
to  find  one's  self  richer,  deeper,  better.  That  alone 
can  fill  the  emptiness,  and  transform  the  tragedy  of 
woman's  emancipation  into  joy,  limitless  joy. 


The  popular  notion  about  marriage  and  love  is  that 
they  are  synonymous,  that  they  spring  from  the  same 
motives,  and  cover  the  same  human  needs.  Like  most 
popular  notions  this  also  rests  not  on  actual  facts,  but 
on  superstition. 

Marriage  and  love  have  nothing  in  common;  they 
are  as  far  apart  as  the  poles ;  are,  in  fact,  antagonistic 
to  each  other.  No  doubt  some  marriages  have  been 
the  result  of  love.  Not,  however,  because  love  could 
assert  itself  only  in  marriage;  much  rather  is  it  be- 
cause few  people  can  completely  outgrow  a  conven- 
tion. There  are  today  large  numbers  of  men  and 
women  to  whom  marriage  is  naught  but  a  farce,  but 
who  submit  to  it  for  the  sake  of  public  opinion.  At 
any  rate,  while  it  is  true  that  some  marriages  are 
based  on  love,  and  while  it  is  equally  true  that  in  some 
cases  love  continues  in  married  life,  I  maintain  that  it 
does  so  regardless  of  marriage,  and  not  because  of  it. 

On  the  other  hand,  it  is  utterly  false  that  love 
results  from  marriage.  On  rare  occasions  one  does 
hear  of  a  miraculous  case  of  a  married  couple  falling 
in  love  after  marriage,  but  on  close  examination  it 


will  be  found  that  it  is  a  mere  adjustment  to  the 
inevitable.  Certainly  the  growing-used  to  each  other 
is  far  away  from  the  spontaneity,  the  intensity,  and 
beauty  of  love,  without  which  the  intimacy  of  mar- 
riage must  prove  degrading  to  both  the  woman  and 
the  man. 

Marriage  is  primarily  an  economic  arrangement, 
an  insurance  pact.  It  differs  from  the  ordinary  life 
insurance  agreement  only  in  that  it  is  more  binding, 
more  exacting.  Its  returns  are  insignificantly  small 
compared  with  the  investments.  In  taking  out  an 
insurance  policy  one  pays  for  it  in  dollars  and  cents, 
always  at  liberty  to  discontinue  payments.  If,  how- 
ever, woman's  premium  is  a  husband,  she  pays  for  it 
with  her  name,  her  privacy,  her  self-respect,  her  very 
life,  "until  death  doth  part."  Moreover,  the  marriage 
insurance  condemns  her  to  life-long  dependency,  to 
parasitism,  to  complete  uselessness,  individual  as  well 
as  social.  Man,  too,  pays  his  toll,  but  as  his  sphere  is 
wider,  marriage  does  not  limit  him  as  much  as  woman. 
He  feels  his  chains  more  in  an  economic  sense. 

Thus  Dante's  motto  over  Inferno  applies  with 
equal  force  to  marriage :  "Ye  who  enter  here  leave 
all  hope  behind." 

That  marriage  is  a  failure  none  but  the  very 
stupid  will  deny.  One  has  but  to  glance  over  the 
statistics  of  divorce  to  realize  how  bitter  a  failure 
marriage  really  is.  Nor  will  the  stereotyped  Philis- 
tine argument  that  the  laxity  of  divorce  laws  and  the 
growing  looseness  of  woman  account  for  the  fact 
that:  first,  every  twelfth  marriage  ends  in  divorce; 
second,  that  since  1870  divorces  have  increased  from 


28  to  73  for  every  hundred  thousand  population; 
third,  that  adultery,  since  1867,  as  ground  for  divorce, 
has  increased  270.8  per  cent. ;  fourth,  that  desertion 
increased  369.8  per  cent. 

Added  to  these  startling  figures  is  a  vast  amount 
of  material,  dramatic  and  literary,  further  elucidating 
this  subject.  Robert  Herrick,  in  Together;  Pinero,  in 
Mid-Channel ;  Eugene  Walter,  in  Paid  in  Full,  and 
scores  of  other  writers  are  discussing  the  barrenness, 
the  monotony,  the  sordidness,  the  inadequacy  of  mar- 
riage as  a  factor  for  harmony  and  understanding. 

The  thoughtful  social  student  will  not  content  him- 
self with  the  popular  superficial  excuse  for  this  phe- 
nomenon. He  will  have  to  dig  down  deeper  into  the 
very  life  of  the  sexes  to  know  why  marriage  proves 
so  disastrous. 

Edward  Carpenter  says  that  behind  every  mar- 
riage stands  the  life-long  environment  of  the  two 
sexes;  an  environment  so  different  from  each  other 
that  man  and  woman  must  remain  strangers.  Sepa- 
rated by  an  insurmountable  wall  of  superstition,  cus- 
tom, and  habit,  marriage  has  not  the  potentiality  of 
developing  knowledge  of,  and  respect  for,  each  other, 
without  which  every  union  is  doomed  to  failure. 

Henrik  Ibsen,  the  hater  of  all  social  shams,  was 
probably  the  first  to  realize  this  great  truth.  Nora 
leaves  her  husband,  not — as  the  stupid  critic  would 
have  it — because  she  is  tired  of  her  responsibilities  or 
feels  the  need  of  woman's  rights,  but  because  she  has 
come  to  know  that  for  eight  years  she  had  lived  with 
a  stranger  and  borne  him  children.  Can  there  be  any- 
thing more  humiliating,  more  degrading  than  a  life- 


long  proximity  between  two  strangers?  No  need  for 
the  woman  to  know  anything  of  the  man,  save  his 
income.  As  to  the  knowledge  of  the  woman — what  is 
there  to  know  except  that  she  has  a  pleasing  appear- 
ance? We  have  not  yet  outgrown  the  theologic  myth 
that  woman  has  no  soul,  that  she  is  a  mere  appendix 
to  man,  made  out  of  his  rib  just  for  the  convenience 
of  the  gentleman  who  was  so  strong  that  he  was 
afraid  of  his  own  shadow. 

Perchance  the  poor  quality  of  the  material  whence 
woman  comes  is  responsible  for  her  inferiority.  At 
any  rate,  woman  has  no  soul — what  is  there  to  know 
about  her?  Besides,  the  less  soul  a  woman  has  the 
greater  her  asset  as  a  wife,  the  more  readily  will  she 
absorb  herself  in  her  husband.  It  is  this  slavish 
acquiescence  to  man's  superiority  that  has  kept  the 
marriage  institution  seemingly  intact  for  so  long  a 
period.  Now  that  woman  is  coming  into  her  own, 
now  that  she  is  actually  growing  aware  of  herself  as 
a  being  outside  of  the  master's  grace,  the  sacred  insti- 
tution of  marriage  is  gradually  being  undermined, 
and  no  amount  of  sentimental  lamentation  can  stay  it. 

From  infancy,  almost,  the  average  girl  is  told  that 
marriage  is  her  ultimate  goal;  therefore  her  training 
and  education  must  be  directed  towards  that  end. 
Like  the  mute  beast  fattened  for  slaughter,  she  is  pre- 
pared for  that.  Yet,  strange  to  say,  she  is  allowed  to 
know  much  less  about  her  function  as  wife  and 
mother  than  the  ordinary  artisan  of  his  trade.  It  is 
indecent  and  filthy  for  a  respectable  girl  to  know 
anything  of  the  marital  relation.  Oh,  for  the  incon- 
sistency of  respectability,  that  needs  the  marriage  vow 


to  turn  something  which  is  filthy  into  the  purest  and 
most  sacred  arrangement  that  none  dare  question  or 
criticize.  Yet  that  is  exactly  the  attitude  of  the  aver- 
age upholder  of  marriage.  The  prospective  wife  and 
mother  is  kept  in  complete  ignorance  of  her  only 
asset  in  the  competitive  field — sex.  Thus  she  enters 
into  life-long  relations  with  a  man  only  to  find  her- 
self shocked,  repelled,  outraged  beyond  measure  by 
the  most  natural  and  healthy  instinct,  sex.  It  is  safe 
to  say  that  a  large  percentage  of  the  unhappiness, 
misery,  distress,  and  physical  suffering  of  matrimony 
is  due  to  the  criminal  ignorance  in  sex  matters  that  is 
being  extolled  as  a  great  virtue.  Nor  is  it  at  all  an 
exaggeration  when  I  say  that  more  than  one  home  has 
been  broken  up  because  of  this  deplorable  fact. 

If,  however,  woman  is  free  and  big  enough  to 
learn  the  mystery  of  sex  without  the  sanction  of 
State  or  Church,  she  will  stand  condemned  as  utterly 
unfit  to  become  the  wife  of  a  "good"  man,  his  good" 
ness  consisting  of  an  empty  head  and  plenty  of 
money.  Can  there  be  anything  more  outrageous  than 
the  idea  that  a  healthy,  grown  woman,  full  of  life  and 
passion,  must  deny  nature's  demand,  must  subdue 
her  most  intense  craving,  undermine  her  health  and 
break  her  spirit,  must  stunt  her  vision,  abstain  from 
the  depth  and  glory  of  sex  experience  until  a  "good" 
man  comes  along  to  take  her  unto  himself  as  a  wife? 
That  is  precisely  what  marriage  means.  How  can 
such  an  arrangement  end  except  in  failure?  This  is 
one,  though  not  the  least  important,  factor  of  mar- 
riage, which  differentiates  it  from  love. 


Ours  is  a  practical  age.  The  time  when  Romeo 
and  Juliet  risked  the  wrath  of  their  fathers  for  love, 
when  Gretchen  exposed  herself  to  the  gossip  of  her 
neighbors  for  love,  is  no  more.  If,  on  rare  occasions, 
young  pople  allow  themselves  the  luxury  of  romance, 
they  are  taken  in  care  by  the  elders,  drilled  and 
pounded  until  they  become  "sensible." 

The  moral  lesson  instilled  in  the  girl  is  not  whether 
the  man  has  aroused  her  love,  but  rather  is  it,  "How 
much?"  The  important  and  only  God  of  practical 
American  life:  Can  the  man  make  a  living?  Can  he 
support  a  wife?  That  is  the  only  thing  that  justifies 
marriage.  Gradually  this  saturates  every  thought  of 
the  girl ;  her  dreams  are  not  of  moonlight  and  kisses, 
of  laughter  and  tears;  she  dreams  of  shopping  tours 
and  bargain  counters.  This  soul-poverty  and  sordid- 
ness  are  the  elements  inherent  in  the  marriage  institu- 
tion. The  State  and  the  Church  approve  of  no  other 
ideal,  simply  because  it  is  the  one  that  necessitates  the 
State  and  Church  control  of  men  and  women. 

Doubtless  there  are  people  who  continue  to  con- 
sider love  above  dollars  and  cents.  Particularly  is 
this  true  of  that  class  whom  economic  necessity  has 
forced  to  become  self-supporting.  The  tremendous 
change  in  woman's  position,  wrought  by  that  mighty 
factor,  is  indeed  phenomenal  when  we  reflect  that  it  is 
but  a  short  time  since  she  has  entered  the  industrial 
arena.  Six  million  women  wage-earners;  six  million 
women,  who  have  the  equal  right  with  men  to  be 
exploited,  to  be  robbed,  to  go  on  strike ;  aye,  to  starve 
even.  Anything  more,  my  lord?  Yes,  six  million 
wage-workers  in  every  walk  of  life,  from  the  highest 


brain  work  to  the  mines  and  railroad  tracks;  yes, 
even  detectives  and  policemen.  Surely  the  emancipa- 
tion is  complete. 

Yet  with  all  that,  but  a  very  small  number  of  the 
vast  army  of  women  wage-workers  look  upon  work 
as  a  permanent  issue,  in  the  same  light  as  does  man. 
No  matter  how  decrepit  the  latter,  he  has  been  taught 
to  be  independent,  self-supporting.  Oh,  I  know  that 
no  one  is  really  independent  in  our  economic  tread- 
mill; still,  the  poorest  specimen  of  a  man  hates  to  be 
a  parasite ;  to  be  known  as  such,  at  any  rate. 

The  woman  considers  her  position  as  worker  tran- 
sitory, to  be  thrown  aside  for  the  first  bidder.  That 
is  why  it  is  infinitely  harder  to  organize  women  than 
men.  "Why  should  I  join  a  union?  I  am  going  to  get 
married,  to  have  a  home."  Has  she  not  been  taught 
from  infancy  to  look  upon  that  as  her  ultimate  call- 
ing? She  learns  soon  enough  that  the  home,  though 
not  so  large  a  prison  as  the  factory,  has  more  solid 
doors  and  bars.  It  has  a  keeper  so  faithful  that 
naught  can  escape  him.  The  most  tragic  part,  how- 
ever, is  that  the  home  no  longer  frees  her  from  wage- 
slavery;  it  only  increases  her  task. 

According  to  the  latest  statistics  submitted  before 
a  Committee  "on  labor  and  wages,  and  congestion  of 
population,"  ten  per  cent,  of  the  wage  workers  in  New 
York  City  alone  are  married,  yet  they  must  continue 
to  work  at  the  most  poorly  paid  labor  in  the  world. 
Add  to  this  horrible  aspect  the  drudgery  of  house- 
work, and  what  remains  of  the  protection  and  glory 
of  the  home?  As  a  matter  of  fact,  even  the  middle- 
class  girl  in  marriage  can  not  speak  of  her  home,  since 


it  is  the  man  who  creates  her  sphere.  It  is  not  im- 
portant whether  the  husband  is  a  brute  or  a  darling. 
What  I  wish  to  prove  is  that  marriage  guarantees 
woman  a  home  only  by  the  grace  of  her  husband. 
There  she  moves  about  in  his  home,  year  after  year, 
until  her  aspect  of  life  and  human  affairs  becomes 
as  flat,  narrow,  and  drab  as  her  surroundings.  Small 
wonder  if  she  becomes  a  nag,  petty,  quarrelsome, 
gossipy,  unbearable,  thus  driving  the  man  from  the 
house.  She  could  not  go,  if  she  wanted  to;  there  is 
no  place  to  go.  Besides,  a  short  period  of  married 
life,  of  complete  surrender  of  all  faculties,  absolutely 
incapacitates  the  average  woman  for  the  outside 
world.  She  becomes  reckless  in  appearance,  clumsy 
in  her  movements,  dependent  in  her  decisions,  cow- 
ardly in  her  judgment,  a  weight  and  a  bore,  which 
most  men  grow  to  hate  and  despise.  Wonderfully 
inspiring  atmosphere  for  the  bearing  of  life,  is  it  not? 

But  the  child,  how  is  it  to  be  protected,  if  not  for 
marriage?  After  all,  is  not  that  the  most  important 
consideration  ?  The  sham,  the  hypocrisy  of  it !  Mar- 
riage protecting  the  child,  yet  thousands  of  children 
destitute  and  homeless.  Marriage  protecting  the 
child,  yet  orphan  asylums  and  reformatories  over- 
crowded, the  Society  for  the  Prevention  of  Cruelty  to 
Children  keeping  busy  in  rescuing  the  little  victims 
from  "loving"  parents,  to  place  them  under  more 
loving  care,  the  Gerry  Society.  Oh,  the  mockery 
of  it! 

Marriage  may  have  the  power  to  "bring  the  horse 
to  water,"  but  has  it  ever  made  him  drink?  The  law 
will  place  the  father  under  arrest,  and  put  him  in  con- 


vict's  clothes;  but  has  that  ever  stilled  the  hunger  of 
the  child?  If  the  parent  has  no  work,  or  if  he  hides 
his  identity,  what  does  marriage  do  then?  It  invokes 
the  law  to  bring  the  man  to  "justice,"  to  put  him 
safely  behind  closed  doors;  his  labor,  however,  goes 
not  to  the  child,  but  to  the  State.  The  child  receives 
but  a  blighted  memory  of  its  father's  stripes. 

As  to  the  protection  of  the  woman, — therein  lies 
the  curse  of  marriage.  Not  that  it  really  protects  her, 
but  the  very  idea  is  so  revolting,  such  an  outrage  and 
insult  on  life,  so  degrading  to  human  dignity,  as  to 
forever  condemn  this  parasitic  institution. 

It  is  like  that  other  paternal  arrangement — capital- 
ism. It  robs  man  of  his  birthright,  stunts  his  growth, 
poisons  his  body,  keeps  him  in  ignorance,  in  poverty 
and  dependence,  and  then  institutes  charities  that 
thrive  on  the  last  vestige  of  man's  self-respect. 

The  institution  of  marriage  makes  a  parasite  of 
woman,  an  absolute  dependent.  It  incapacitates  her 
for  life's  struggle,  annihilates  her  social  consciousness, 
paralyzes  her  imagination,  and  then  imposes  its  gra- 
cious protection,  which  is  in  reality  a  snare,  a  travesty 
on  human  character. 

If  motherhood  is  the  highest  fulfillment  of 
woman's  nature,  what  other  protection  does  it  need 
save  love  and  freedom?  Marriage  but  defiles,  out- 
rages, and  corrupts  her  fulfillment.  Does  it  not  say  to 
woman,  Only  when  you  follow  me  shall  you  bring 
forth  life?  Does  it  not  condemn  her  to  the  block, 
does  it  not  degrade  and  shame  her  if  she  refuses  to 
buy  her  right  to  motherhood  by  selling  herself  ?  Does 
not  marriage  only  sanction  motherhood,  even  though 


conceived  in  hatred,  in  compulsion?  Yet,  if  mother- 
hood be  of  free  choice,  of  love,  of  ecstasy,  of  defiant 
passion,  does  it  not  place  a  crown  of  thorns  upon  an 
innocent  head  and  carve  in  letters  of  blood  the  hideous 
epithet.  Bastard?  Were  marriage  to  contain  all  the 
virtues  claimed  for  it,  its  crimes  against  motherhood 
would  exclude  it  forever  from  the  realm  of  love. 

Love,  the  strongest  and  deepest  element  in  all  life, 
the  harbinger  of  hope,  of  joy,  of  ecstasy;  love,  the 
defier  of  all  laws,  of  all  conventions;  love,  the  freest, 
the  most  powerful  moulder  of  human  destiny;  how 
can  such  an  all-compelling  force  be  synonymous  with 
that  poor  little  State  and  Church-begotten  weed, 
marriage  ? 

Free  love  ?  As  if  love  is  anything  but  free !  Man 
has  bought  brains,  but  all  the  millions  in  the  world 
have  failed  to  buy  love.  Man  has  subdued  bodies,  but 
all  the  power  on  earth  has  been  unable  to  subdue  love. 
Man  has  conquered  whole  nations,  but  all  his  armies 
could  not  conquer  love.  Man  has  chained  and  fet- 
tered the  spirit,  but  he  has  been  utterly  helpless  before 
love.  High  on  a  throne,  with  all  the  splendor  and 
pomp  his  gold  can  command,  man  is  yet  poor  and 
desolate,  if  love  passes  him  by.  And  if  it  stays,  the 
poorest  hovel  is  radiant  with  warmth,  with  life  and 
color.  Thus  love  has  the  magic  power  to  make  of  a 
beggar  a  king.  Yes,  love  is  free;  it  can  dwell  in  no 
other  atmosphere.  In  freedom  it  gives  itself  un- 
reservedly, abundantly,  completely.  All  the  laws  on 
the  statutes,  all  the  courts  in  the  universe,  cannot  tear 
it  from  the  soil,  once  love  has  taken  root.  If,  how- 
ever, the  soil  is  sterile,  how  can  marriage  make  it  bear 


fruit?  It  is  like  the  last  desperate  struggle  of  fleeting 
life  against  death. 

Love  needs  no  protection;  it  is  its  own  protection. 
So  long  as  love  begets  life  no  child  is  deserted,  or 
hungry,  or  famished  for  the  want  of  affection.  I 
know  this  to  be  true.  I  know  women  who  became 
mothers  in  freedom  by  the  men  they  loved.  Few 
children  in  wedlock  enjoy  the  care,  the  protection, 
the  devotion  free  motherhood  is  capable  of  bestowing. 

The  defenders  of  authority  dread  the  advent  of  a 
free  motherhood,  lest  it  will  rob  them  of  their  prey. 
Who  would  fight  wars?  Who  would  create  wealth? 
Who  would  make  the  policeman,  the  jailer,  if  woman 
were  to  refuse  the  indiscriminate  breeding  of  chil- 
dren ?  The  race,  the  race !  shouts  the  king,  the  presi- 
dent, the  capitalist,  the  priest.  The  race  must  be  pre- 
served, though  woman  be  degraded  to  a  mere  machine, 
— and  the  marriage  institution  is  our  only  safety  valve 
against  the  pernicious  sex-awakening  of  woman.  But 
in  vain  these  frantic  efforts  to  maintain  a  state  of 
bondage.  In  vain,  too,  the  edicts  of  the  Church,  the 
mad  attacks  of  rulers,  in  vain  even  the  arm  of  the 
law.  Woman  no  longer  wants  to  be  a  party  to  the 
production  of  a  race  of  sickly,  feeble,  decrepit, 
wretched  human  beings,  who  have  neither  the  strength 
nor  moral  courage  to  throw  off  the  yoke  of  poverty 
and  slavery.  Instead  she  desires  fewer  and  better 
children,  begotten  and  reared  in  love  and  through  free 
choice;  not  by  compulsion,  as  marriage  imposes.  Our 
pseudo-moralists  have  yet  to  learn  the  deep  sense  of 
responsibility  toward  the  child,  that  love  in  freedom 
has  awakened  in  the  breast  of  woman.    Rather  would 


she  forego  forever  the  glory  of  motherhood  than  bring 
forth  life  in  an  atmosphere  that  breathes  only  destruc- 
tion and  death.  And  if  she  does  become  a  mother,  it 
is  to  give  to  the  child  the  deepest  and  best  her  being 
can  yield.  To  grow  with  the  child  is  her  motto;  she 
knows  that  in  that  manner  alone  can  she  help  build 
true  manhood  and  womanhood. 

Ibsen  must  have  had  a  vision  of  a  free  mother, 
when,  with  a  master  stroke,  he  portrayed  Mrs.  Alving. 
She  was  the  ideal  mother  because  she  had  outgrown 
marriage  and  all  its  horrors,  because  she  had  broken 
her  chains,  and  set  her  spirit  free  to  soar  until  it 
returned  a  personality,  regenerated  and  strong.  Alas, 
it  was  too  late  to  rescue  her  life's  joy,  her  Oswald; 
but  not  too  late  to  realize  that  love  in  freedom  is  the 
only  condition  of  a  beautiful  life.  Those  who,  like 
Mrs.  Alving,  have  paid  with  blood  and  tears  for  their 
spiritual  awakening,  repudiate  marriage  as  an  imposi- 
tion, a  shallow,  empty  mockery.  They  know,  whether 
love  last  but  one  brief  span  of  time  or  for  eternity,  it 
is  the  only  creative,  inspiring,  elevating  basis  for  a 
new  race,  a  new  world. 

In  our  present  pygmy  state  love  is  indeed  a 
stranger  to  most  people.  Misunderstood  and  shunned, 
it  rarely  takes  root;  or  if  it  does,  it  soon  withers  and 
dies.  Its  delicate  fiber  can  not  endure  the  stress  and 
strain  of  the  daily  grind.  Its  soul  is  too  complex  to 
adjust  itself  to  the  slimy  woof  of  our  social  fabric. 
It  weeps  and  moans  and  suffers  with  those  who  have 
need  of  it,  yet  lack  the  capacity  to  rise  to  love's 


Some  day,  some  day  men  and  women  will  rise, 
they  will  reach  the  mountain  peak,  they  will  meet 
big  and  strong  and  free,  ready  to  receive,  to  partake, 
and  to  bask  in  the  golden  rays  of  love.  What  fancy, 
what  imagination,  what  poetic  genius  can  foresee  even 
approximately  the  potentialities  of  such  a  force  in  the 
life  of  men  and  women.  If  the  world  is  ever  to 
give  birth  to  true  companionship  and  oneness,  not 
marriage,  but  love  will  be  the  parent. 



So  LONG  as  discontent  and  unrest  make  themselves 
but  dumbly  felt  within  a  limited  social  class,  the 
powers  of  reaction  may  often  succeed  in  suppressing 
such  manifestations.  But  when  the  dumb  unrest 
grows  into  conscious  expression  and  becomes  almost 
universal,  it  necessarily  affects  all  phases  of  human 
thought  and  action,  and  seeks  its  individual  and  social 
expression  in  the  gradual  transvaluation  of  existing 

An  adequate  appreciation  of  the  tremendous 
spread  of  the  modern,  conscious  social  unrest  cannot 
be  gained  from  merely  propagandistic  literature. 
Rather  must  we  become  conversant  with  the  larger 
phases  of  human  expression  manifest  in  art,  litera- 
ture, and,  above  all,  the  modern  drama — the  strongest 
and  most  far-reaching  interpreter  of  our  deep-felt 

What  a  tremendous  factor  for  the  awakening  of 
conscious  discontent  are  the  simple  canvasses  of  a 
Millet!  The  figures  of  his  peasants — what  terrific 
indictment  against  our  social  wrongs;  wrongs  that 
condemn  the  Man  With  the  Hoe  to  hopeless 
drudgery,   himself   excluded   from   Nature's  bounty. 


The  vision  of  a  Meunier  conceives  the  growing 
solidarity  and  defiance  of  labor  in  the  group  of  miners 
carrying  their  maimed  brother  to  safety.  His  genius 
thus  powerfully  portrays  the  interrelation  of  the 
seething  unrest  among  those  slaving  in  the  bowels  of 
the  earth,  and  the  spiritual  revolt  that  seeks  artistic 

No  less  important  is  the  factor  for  rebellious  awak- 
ening in  modern  literature — Turgeniev,  Dostoyevsky, 
Tolstoy,  Andreiev,  Gorki,  Whitman,  Emerson,  and 
scores  of  others  embodying  the  spirit  of  universal 
ferment  and  the  longing  for  social  change. 

Still  more  far-reaching  is  the  modern  drama,  as 
the  leaven  of  radical  thought  and  the  disseminator  of 
new  values. 

It  might  seem  an  exaggeration  to  ascribe  to  the 
modern  drama  such  an  important  role.  But  a  study 
of  the  development  of  modern  ideas  in  most  countries 
will  prove  that  the  drama  has  succeeded  in  driving 
home  great  social  truths,  truths  generally  ignored 
when  presented  in  other  forms.  No  doubt  there  are 
exceptions,  as  Russia  and  France. 

Russia,  with  its  terrible  political  pressure,  has 
made  people  think  and  has  awakened  their  social  sym- 
pathies, because  of  the  tremendous  contrast  which 
exists  between  the  intellectual  life  of  the  people  and 
the  despotic  regime  that  is  trying  to  crush  that  life. 
Yet  while  the  great  dramatic  works  of  Tolstoy, 
Tchechov,  Gorki,  and  Andreiev  closely  mirror  the 
life  and  the  struggle,  the  hopes  and  aspirations  of  the 
Russian  people,  they  did  not  influence  radical  thought 
to  the  extent  the  drama  has  done  in  other  countries. 

THE    DRAMA  249 

Who  can  deny,  however,  the  tremendous  influence 
exerted  by  The  Power  of  Darkness  or  Night  Lodg- 
ing. Tolstoy,  the  real,  true  Christian,  is  yet  the  great- 
est enemy  of  organized  Christianity.  With  a  master 
hand  he  portrays  the  destructive  effects  upon  the 
human  mind  of  the  power  of  darkness,  the  supersti- 
tions of  the  Christian  Church. 

What  other  medium  could  express,  with  such 
dramatic  force,  the  responsibility  of  the  Church  for 
crimes  committed  by  its  deluded  victims;  what  other 
medium  could,  in  consequence,  rouse  the  indignation 
of  man's  conscience? 

Similarly  direct  and  powerful  is  the  indictment 
contained  in  Gorki's  Night  Lodging,  The  social 
pariahs,  forced  into  poverty  and  crime,  yet  des- 
perately clutch  at  the  last  vestiges  of  hope  and  aspira- 
tion. Lost  existences  these,  blighted  and  crushed  by 
cruel,  unsocial  environment. 

France,  on  the  other  hand,  with  her  continuous 
struggle  for  liberty,  is  indeed  the  cradle  of  radical 
thought;  as  such  she,  too,  did  not  need  the  drama  as 
a  means  of  awakening.  And  yet  the  works  of  Brieux 
— as  Rohe  Rouge,  portraying  the  terrible  corruption 
of  the  judiciary — and  Mirbeau's  Les  A jf aires  sont  les 
Affaires — picturing  the  destructive  influence  of  wealth 
on  the  human  soul — have  undoubtedly  reached  wider 
circles  than  most  of  the  articles  and  books  which  have 
been  written  in  France  on  the  social  question. 

In  countries  like  Germany,  Scandinavia,  England, 
and  even  in  America — though  in  a  lesser  degree — the 
drama  is  the  vehicle  which  is  really  making  history, 


disseminating  radical  thought  in  ranks  not  otherwise 
to  be  reached. 

Let  us  take  Germany,  for  instance.  For  nearly  a 
quarter  of  a  century  men  of  brains,  of  ideas,  and  of 
the  greatest  integrity,  made  it  their  life-work  to 
spread  the  truth  of  human  brotherhood,  of  justice, 
among  the  oppressed  and  downtrodden.  Socialism, 
that  tremendous  revolutionary  wave,  was  to  the  vic- 
tims of  a  merciless  and  inhumane  system  like  water 
to  the  parched  lips  of  the  desert  traveler.  Alas! 
The  cultured  people  remained  absolutely  indifferent; 
to  them  that  revolutionary  tide  was  but  the  murmur 
of  dissatisfied,  discontented  men,  dangerous,  illiterate 
trouble-makers,  whose  proper  place  was  behind  prison 

Self-satisfied  as  the  "cultured"  usually  are,  they 
could  not  understand  why  one  should  fuss  about  the 
fact  that  thousands  of  people  were  starving,  though 
they  contributed  towards  the  wealth  of  the  world. 
Surrounded  by  beauty  and  luxury,  they  could  not 
believe  that  side  by  side  with  them  lived  human 
beings  degraded  to  a  position  lower  than  a  beast's, 
shelterless  and  ragged,  without  hope  or  ambition. 

This  condition  of  affairs  was  particularly  pro- 
nounced in  Germany  after  the  Franco-German  war. 
Full  to  the  bursting  point  with  its  victory,  Germany 
thrived  on  a  sentimental,  patriotic  literature,  thereby 
poisoning  the  minds  of  the  country's  youth  by  the 
glory  of  conquest  and  bloodshed. 

Intellectual  Germany  had  to  take  refuge  in  the 
literature  of  other  countries,  in  the  works  of  Ibsen, 
Zola,  Dajidet,  Maupassant,  and  especially  in  the  g'reat 

THE    DRAMA  ^gl 

works  of  Dostoyevsky,  Tolstoy,  and  Turgeniev.  But 
as  no  country  can  long  maintain  a  standard  of  culture 
without  a  literature  and  drama  related  to  its  own  soil, 
so  Germany  gradually  began  to  develop  a  drama 
reflecting  the  life  and  the  struggles  of  its  own  people. 

Arno  Holz,  one  of  the  youngest  dramatists  of  that 
period,  startled  the  Philistines  out  of  their  ease  and 
comfort  with  his  Familie  Selicke.  The  play  deals 
with  society's  refuse,  men  and  women  of  the  alleys, 
whose  only  subsistence  consists  of  what  they  can  pick 
out  of  the  garbage  barrels.  A  gruesome  subject,  is  it 
not?  And  yet  what  other  method  is  there  to  break 
through  the  hard  shell  of  the  minds  and  souls  of 
people  who  have  never  known  want,  and  who  there- 
fore assume  that  all  is  well  in  the  world  ? 

Needless  to  say,  the  play  aroused  tremendous 
indignation.  The  truth  is  bitter,  and  the  people  living 
on  the  Fifth  Avenue  of  Berlin  hated  to  be  confronted 
with  the  truth. 

Not  that  Familie  Selicke  represented  anything  that 
had  not  been  written  about  for  years  without  any 
seeming  result.  But  the  dramatic  genius  of  Holz,  to- 
gether with  the  powerful  interpretation  of  the  play, 
necessarily  made  inroads  into  the  widest  circles,  and 
forced  people  to  think  about  the  terrible  inequalities 
around  them. 

Sudermann's  Ehre*  and  Heimat'\  deal  with  vital 
subjects.  I  have  already  referred  to  the  sentimental 
patriotism  so  completely  turning  the  head  of  the  aver- 
age German  as  to  create  a  perverted  conception  of 

*  Honor. 
t  Magda. 


honor.  Duelling  became  an  every-day  affair,  costing 
innumerable  lives.  A  great  cry  was  raised  against  the 
fad  by  a  number  of  leading  writers.  But  nothing 
acted  as  such  a  clarifier  and  exposer  of  that  national 
disease  as  the  Ehre. 

Not  that  the  play  merely  deals  with  duelling;  it 
analyzes  the  real  meaning  of  honor,  proving  that  it  is 
not  a  fixed,  inborn  feeling,  but  that  it  varies  with 
every  people  and  every  epoch,  depending  particularly 
on  one's  economic  and  social  station  in  life.  We 
realize  from  this  play  that  the  man  in  the  brownstone 
mansion  will  necessarily  define  honor  dift'erently  from 
his  victims. 

The  family  Heinecke  enjoys  the  charity  of  the 
millionaire  Miihling,  being  permitted  to  occupy  a 
dilapidated  shanty  on  his  premises  in  the  absence  of 
their  son,  Robert.  The  latter,  as  Miihling's  repre- 
sentative, is  making  a  vast  fortune  for  his  employer 
in  India.  On  his  return  Robert  discovers  that  his 
sister  had  been  seduced  by  young  Aliihling,  whose 
father  graciously  offers  to  straighten  matters  with  a 
check  for  40,000  marks.  Robert,  outraged  and  indig- 
nant, resents  the  insult  to  his  family's  honor,  and  is 
forthwith  dismissed  from  his  position  for  impudence. 
Robert  finally  throws  this  accusation  into  the  face  of 
the  philanthropist  millionaire: 

"We  slave  for  you,  we  sacrifice  our  heart's  blood 
for  you,  while  you  seduce  our  daughters  and  sisters 
and  kindly  pay  for  their  disgrace  with  the  gold  we 
have  earned  for  you.     That  is  what  you  call  honor." 

An  incidental  side-light  upon  the  conception  of 
honor  is  given  by  Count  Trast,  the  principal  character 

THE    DRAMA  253 

in  the  Ehre,  a  man  widely  conversant  with  the  customs 
of  various  climes,  who  relates  that  in  his  many  travels 
he  chanced  across  a  savage  tribe  whose  honor  he  mor- 
tally offended  by  refusing  the  hospitality  which 
offered  him  the  charms  of  the  chieftain's  wife. 

The  theme  of  Heimat  treates  of  the  struggle 
between  the  old  and  the  young  generations.  It  holds 
a  permanent  and  important  place  in  dramatic  litera- 

Magda,  the  daughter  of  Lieutenant-Colonel 
Schwartz,  has  committed  an  unpardonable  sin :  she 
refused  the  suitor  selected  by  her  father.  For  daring 
to  disobey  the  parental  commands  she  is  driven  from 
home.  Magda,  full  of  life  and  the  spirit  of  liberty, 
goes  out  into  the  world  to  return  to  her  native  town, 
twelve  years  later,  a  celebrated  singer.  She  consents 
to  visit  her  parents  on  condition  that  they  respect  the 
privacy  of  her  past.  But  her  martinet  father  imme- 
diately begins  to  question  her,  insisting  on  his 
"paternal  rights."  Magda  is  indignant,  but  gradually 
his  persistence  brings  to  light  the  tragedy  of  her  life. 
He  learns  that  the  respected  Councillor  von  Keller 
had  in  his  student  days  been  Magda's  lover,  while  she 
was  battling  for  her  economic  and  social  independ- 
ence. The  consequence  of  the  fleeting  romance  was  a 
child,  deserted  by  the  man  even  before  birth.  The 
rigid  military  father  of  Magda  demands  as  retribution 
from  Councillor  von  Keller  that  he  legalize  the  love 
affair.  In  view  of  Magda's  social  and  professional 
success,  Keller  willingly  consents,  but  on  condition 
that  she  forsake  the  stage,  and  place  the  child  in  an 
institution.     The  struggle  between  the  Old  and  the 


New  culminates  in  Magda's  defiant  words  of  the 
woman  grown  to  conscious  independence  of  thought 
and  action :  ".  .  .  I'll  say  what  I  think  of  you — of  you 
and  your  respectable  society.  Why  should  I  be 
worse  than  you  that  I  must  prolong  my  existence 
among  you  by  a  lie!  Why  should  this  gold  upon  my 
body,  and  the  lustre  which  surrounds  my  name,  only 
increase  my  infamy?  Have  I  not  worked  early  and 
late  for  ten  long  years?  Have  I  not  woven  this  dress 
with  sleepless  nights  ?  Have  I  not  built  up  my  career 
step  by  step,  like  thousands  of  my  kind?  Why  should 
I  blush  before  anyone?  I  am  myself,  and  through 
myself  I  have  become  what  I  am." 

The  general  theme  of  Heimat — the  struggle 
between  the  old  and  young  generations — was  not 
original.  It  had  been  previously  treated  by  a  master 
hand  in  Fathers  and  Sons,  portraying  the  awakening 
of  an  age.  But  though  artistically  far  inferior  to 
Turgeniev's  work,  Heimat — depicting  the  awakening 
of  a  sex — proved  a  powerful  revolutionizing  factor, 
mainly  because  of  its  dramatic  expression. 

The  dramatist  who  not  only  disseminated  radical- 
ism, but  literally  revolutionized  the  thoughtful  Ger- 
mans, is  Gerhardt  Hauptmann.  His  first  play,  Vor 
Sonnenaufgang*  refused  by  every  leading  German 
threatre,  but  finally  performed  in  the  independent 
Lessing  Theatre,  acted  like  a  stroke  of  lightning, 
illuminating  the  entire  social  horizon.  Its  subject 
matter  deals  with  the  life  of  an  extensive  land-owner, 
ignorant,  illiterate,  and  brutalized,  and  his  economic 

* 'Before  Sunrise. 

THE    DRAMA  255 

slaves  of  the  same  mental  calibre.  The  influence  of 
wealth,  both  on  the  victims  who  created  it  and  the 
possessor  thereof,  is  shown  in  the  most  vivid  colors, 
as  resulting  in  drunkenness,  idiocy,  and  decay.  But 
the  most  striking  feature  of  Vor  Sonnenaufgang,  the 
one  which  brought  a  shower  of  abuse  on  Hauptmann's 
head,  was  the  question  as  to  the  indiscriminate  breed- 
ing of  children  by  unfit  parents. 

During  the  second  performance  of  the  play  a  lead- 
ing Berlin  surgeon  almost  caused  a  panic  in  the 
theatre  by  swinging  a  pair  of  forceps  over  his  head 
and  screaming  at  the  top  of  his  voice :  "The  decency 
and  morality  of  Germany  are  at  stake  if  childbirth  is 
to  be  discussed  openly  from  the  stage."  The  surgeon 
is  forgotten,  and  Hauptmann  stands  a  colossal  figure 
before  the  world. 

When  Die  Weher^  first  saw  the  light,  pande- 
monium broke  out  in  the  land  of  thinkers  and  poets. 
"What,"  cried  the  moralists,  "workingmen,  dirty, 
filthy  slaves,  to  be  put  on  the  stage !  Poverty  in  all 
its  horrors  and  ugliness  to  be  dished  out  as  an  after- 
dinner  amusement?     That  is  too  much!" 

Indeed,  it  was  too  much  for  the  fat  and  greasy 
bourgeoisie  to  be  brought  face  to  face  with  the  horrors 
of  the  weaver's  existence.  It  was  too  much  because 
of  the  truth  and  reality  that  rang  like  thunder  in  the 
deaf  ears  of  self-satisfied  society,  J' accuse! 

Of  course,  it  was  generally  known  even  before  the 
appearance  of  this  drama  that  capital  can  not  get  fat 
unless  it  devours  labor,  that  wealth  can  not  be  hoarded 

*  The  Weavers. 


except  through  the  channels  of  poverty,  hunger,  and 
cold;  but  such  things  are  better  kept  in  the  dark,  lest 
the  victims  awaken  to  a  realization  of  their  position. 
But  it  is  the  purpose  of  the  modern  drama  to  rouse 
the  consciousness  of  the  oppressed;  and  that,  indeed, 
was  the  purpose  of  Gerhardt  Hauptmann  in  depicting 
to  the  world  the  conditions  of  the  weavers  in  Silesia. 
Human  beings  working  eighteen  hours  daily,  yet  not 
earning  enough  for  bread  and  fuel ;  human  beings 
living  in  broken,  wretched  huts  half  covered  with 
snow,  and  nothing  but  tatters  to  protect  them  from 
the  cold;  infants  covered  with  scurvy  from  hunger 
and  exposure;  pregnant  women  in  the  last  stages  of 
consumption.  Victims  of  a  benevolent  Christian  era, 
without  life,  without  hope,  without  warmth.  Ah,  yes, 
it  was  too  much ! 

Hauptmann's  dramatic  versatility  deals  with  every 
stratum  of  social  life.  Besides  portraying  the  grind- 
ing effect  of  economic  conditions,  he  also  treats  of  the 
struggle  of  the  individual  for  his  mental  and  spiritual 
liberation  from  the  slavery  of  convention  and  tradi- 
tion. Thus  Heinrich,  the  bell-forger,  in  the  dramatic 
prose-poem  Die  Versunkene  Glocke*  fails  to  reach 
the  mountain  peaks  of  liberty  because,  as  Rautende- 
lein  said,  he  had  lived  in  the  valley  too  long.  Simi- 
larly Dr.  Vockerath  and  Anna  Maar  remain  lonely 
souls  because  they,  too,  lack  the  strength  to  defy 
venerated  traditions.  Yet  their  very  failure  must 
awaken  the  rebellious  spirit  against  a  world  forever 
hindering  individual  and  social  emancipation. 

*  The  Sunken  Bell. 

THE    DRAMA  257 

Max  Halbe's  Jugend^^  and  Wedekind's  Frilhling's 
Erwachen-f  are  dramas  which  have  disseminated  rad- 
ical thought  in  an  altogether  different  direction. 
They  treat  of  the  child  and  the  dense  ignorance  and 
narrow  Puritanism  that  meet  the  awakening  of  nature. 
Particularly  is  this  true  of  Frilhling's  Erwachen. 
Young  girls  and  boys  sacrificed  on  the  altar  of  false 
education  and  of  our  sickening  morality  that  pro- 
hibits the  enlightenment  of  youth  as  to  questions  so 
imperative  to  the  health  and  well-being  of  society, — 
the  origin  of  life,  and  its  functions.  It  shows  how  a 
mother — and  a  truly  good  mother,  at  that — keeps  her 
fourteen-year-old  daughter  in  absolute  ignorance  as 
to  all  matters  of  sex,  and  when  finally  the  young  girl 
falls  a  victim  to  her  ignorance,  the  same  mother  sees 
her  child  killed  by  quack  medicines.  The  inscription 
on  her  grave  states  that  she  died  of  anaemia,  and 
morality  is  satisfied. 

The  fatality  of  our  Puritanic  hypocrisy  in  these 
matters  is  especially  illumined  by  Wedekind  in  so  far 
as  our  most  promising  children  fall  victims  to  sex 
ignorance  and  the  utter  lack  of  appreciation  on  the 
part  of  the  teachers  of  the  child's  awakening. 

Wendla,  unusually  developed  and  alert  for  her  age, 
pleads  with  her  mother  to  explain  the  mystery  of  life : 

"I  have  a  sister  who  has  been  married  for  two  and 
a  half  years.  I  myself  have  been  made  an  aunt  for 
the  third  time,  and  I  haven't  the  least  idea  how  it  all 
comes  about.  .  .  .  Don't  be  cross,  Mother,  dear! 
Whom  in  the  world  should  I  ask  but  you?    Don't 

*  Youth. 

t  The  Awakening  of  Spring. 


scold  me  for  asking  about  it.  Give  me  an  answer. — 
How  does  it  happen? — You  cannot  really  deceive 
yourself  that  I,  who  am  fourteen  years  old,  still 
believe  in  the  stork." 

Were  her  mother  herself  not  a  victim  of  false 
notions  of  morality,  an  affectionate  and  sensible 
explanation  might  have  saved  her  daughter.  But  the 
conventional  mother  seeks  to  hide  her  "moral"  shame 
and  embarrassment  in  this  evasive  reply: 

"In  order  to  have  a  child — one  must  love — the 
man — to  whom  one  is  married.  .  .  .  One  must  love 
him,  Wendla,  as  you  at  your  age  are  still  unable  to 
love. — Now  you  know  it !" 

How  much  Wendla  "knew"  the  mother  realized 
too  late.  The  pregnant  girl  imagines  herself  ill  with 
dropsy.  And  when  her  mother  cries  in  desperation, 
"You  haven't  the  dropsy,  you  have  a  child,  girl,"  the 
agonized  Wendla  exclaims  in  bewilderment:  "But  it's 
not  possible,  Mother,  I  am  not  married  yet.  .  .  .  Oh, 
Mother,  why  didn't  you  tell  me  everything?" 

With  equal  stupidity  the  boy  Morris  is  driven  to 
suicide  because  he  fails  in  his  school  examinations 
And  Melchior,  the  youthful  father  of  Wendla's  unborn 
child,  is  sent  to  the  House  of  Correction,  his  early 
sexual  awakening  stamping  him  a  degenerate  in  the 
eyes  of  teachers  and  parents. 

For  years  thoughtful  men  and  women  in  Germany 
had  advocated  the  compelling  necessity  of  sex  enlight- 
enment. Mutterschuts,  a  publication  specially  devoted 
to  frank  and  intelligent  discussion  of  the  sex  problem, 
has  been  carrying  on  its  agitation  for  a  considerable 
time.     But  it  remained   for  the  dramatic  genius  of 

THE    DRAMA  259 

Wedekind  to  influence  radical  thought  to  the  extent 
of  forcing  the  introduction  of  sex  physiology  in  many 
schools  of  Germany. 

Scandinavia,  like  Germany,  was  advanced  through 
the  drama  much  more  than  through  any  other  chan- 
nel. Long  before  Ibsen  appeared  on  the  scene,  Bjorn- 
son,  the  great  essayist,  thundered  against  the  inequali- 
ties and  injustice  prevalent  in  those  countries.  But  his 
was  a  voice  in  the  wilderness,  reaching  but  the  few. 
Not  so  with  Ibsen.  His  Brand,  Doll's  House,  Pillars 
of  Society,  Ghosts,  and  An  Enemy  of  the  People  have 
considerably  undermined  the  old  conceptions,  and 
replaced  them  by  a  modern  and  real  view  of  life.  One 
has  but  to  read  Brand  to  realize  the  modern  concep- 
tion, let  us  say,  of  religion, — religion,  as  an  ideal  to  be 
achieved  on  earth ;  religion  as  a  principle  of  human 
brotherhood,  of  solidarity,  and  kindness. 

Ibsen,  the  supreme  hater  of  all  social  shams,  has 
torn  the  veil  of  hypocrisy  from  their  faces.  His 
greatest  onslaught,  however, '  is  on  the  four  cardinal 
points  supporting  the  flimsy  network  of  society. 
First,  the  lie  upon  which  rests  the  life  of  today; 
second,  the  futility  of  sacrifice  as  preached  by  our 
moral  codes ;  third,  petty  material  consideration,  which 
is  the  only  god  the  majority  worships ;  and  fourth,  the 
deadening  influence  of  provincialism.  These  four 
recur  as  the  Leitmotiv  in  most  of  Ibsen's  plays,  but 
particularly  in  Pillars  of  Society,  Doll's  House, 
Ghosts,  and  An  Enemy  of  the  People. 

Pillars  of  Society !  What  a  tremendous  indictment 
against  the  social  structure  that  rests  on  rotten  and 
decayed  pillars, — pillars  nicely  gilded  and  apparently 


intact,  yet  merely  hiding  their  true  condition.  And 
what  are  these  pillars  ? 

Consul  Bernick,  at  the  very  height  of  his  social 
and  financial  career,  the  benefactor  of  his  town  and 
the  strongest  pillar  of  the  community,  has  reached  the 
summit  through  the  channel  of  lies,  deception,  and 
fraud.  He  has  robbed  his  bosom  friend  Johann  of 
his  good  name,  and  has  betrayed  Lona  Hessel,  the 
woman  he  loved,  to  marry  her  stepsister  for  the  sake 
of  her  money.  He  has  enriched  himself  by  shady 
transactions,  under  cover  of  "the  community's  good," 
and  finally  even  goes  to  the  extent  of  endangering 
human  life  by  preparing  the  Indian  Girl,  a  rotten  and 
dangerous  vessel,  to  go  to  sea. 

But  the  return  of  Lona  brings  him  the  realization 
of  the  emptiness  and  meanness  of  his  narrow  life.  He 
seeks  to  placate  the  waking  conscience  by  the  hope 
that  he  has  cleared  the  ground  for  the  better  life  of 
his  son,  of  the  new  generation.  But  even  this  last 
hope  soon  falls  to  the  ground,  as  he  realizes  that  truth 
cannot  be  built  on  a  lie.  At  the  very  moment  when 
the  whole  town  is  prepared  to  celebrate  the  great  bene- 
factor of  the  community  with  banquet  praise,  he  him- 
self, now  grown  to  full  spiritual  manhood,  confesses 
to  the  assembled  townspeople : 

"I  have  no  right  to  this  homage — .  .  .  My  fellow- 
citizens  must  know  me  to  the  core.  Then  let  every- 
one examine  himself,  and  let  us  realize  the  prediction 
that  from  this  event  we  begin  a  new  time.  The  old, 
with  its  tinsel,  its  hypocrisy,  its  hollowness,  its  lying 
propriety,  and  its  pitiful  cowardice,  shall  lie  behind  us 
like  a  museum,  open  for  instruction." 

THE   DRAMA  261 

With  a  Doll's  House  Ibsen  has  paved  the  way  for 
woman's  emancipation.  Nora  awakens  from  her 
doll's  role  to  the  realization  of  the  injustice  done  her 
by  her  father  and  her  husband,  Helmer  Torvald. 

"While  I  was  at  home  with  father,  he  used  to  tell 
me  all  his  opinions,  and  I  held  the  same  opinions.  If 
I  had  others  I  concealed  them,  because  he  would  not 
have  approved.  Pie  used  to  call  me  his  doll  child,  and 
play  with  me  as  I  played  with  my  dolls.  Then  I  came 
to  live  in  your  house.  You  settled  everything  accord- 
ing to  your  taste,  and  I  got  the  same  taste  as  you,  or  I 
pretended  to.  When  I  look  back  on  it  now,  I  seem  to 
have  been  living  like  a  beggar,  from  hand  to  mouth. 
I  lived  by  performing  tricks  for  you,  Torvald,  but  you 
would  have  it  so.  You  and  father  have  done  me  a 
great  wrong." 

In  vain  Helmer  uses  the  old  philistine  arguments 
of  wifely  duty  and  social  obligations.  Nora  has 
grown  out  of  her  doll's  dress  into  full  stature  of  con- 
scious womanhood.  She  is  determined  to  think  and 
judge  for  herself.  She  has  realized  that,  before  all 
else,  she  is  a  human  being,  owing  the  first  duty  to  her- 
self. She  is  undaunted  even  by  the  possibility  of 
social  ostracism.  She  has  become  sceptical  of  the 
justice  of  the  law,  the  wisdom  of  the  constituted.  Her 
rebelling  soul  rises  in  protest  against  the  existing.  In 
her  own  words:  'T  must  make  up  my  mind  which  is 
right,  society  or  I." 

In  her  childlike  faith  in  her  husband  she  had  hoped 
for  the  great  miracle.  But  it  was  not  the  disappointed 
hope  that  opened  her  vision  to  the  falsehoods  of  mar- 
riage.   It  was  rather  the  smug  contentment  of  Helmer 


with  a  safe  He — one  that  would  remain  hidden  and  not 
endanger  his  social  standing. 

When  Nora  closed  behind  her  the  door  of  her 
gilded  cage  and  went  out  into  the  world  a  new, 
regenerated  personality,  she  opened  the  gate  of  free- 
dom and  truth  for  her  own  sex  and  the  race  to  come. 

More  than  any  other  play,  Ghosts  has  acted  like  a 
bomb  explosion,  shaking  the  social  structure  to  its 
very  foundations. 

In  Doll's  House  the  justification  of  the  union 
between  Nora  and  Helmer  rested  at  least  on  the  hus- 
band's conception  of  integrity  and  rigid  adherence  to 
our  social  morality.  Indeed,  he  was  the  conventional 
ideal  husband  and  devoted  father.  Not  so  in  Ghosts. 
Mrs.  Alving  married  Captain  Alving  only  to  find  that 
he  was  a  physical  and  mental  wreck,  and  that  life  with 
him  would  mean  utter  degradation  and  be  fatal  to 
possible  offspring.  In  her  despair  she  turned  to  her 
youth's  companion,  young  Pastor  Manders  who,  as  the 
true  savior  of  souls  for  heaven,  must  needs  be  indif- 
ferent to  earthly  necessities.  He  sent  her  back  to 
shame  and  degradation, — to  her  duties  to  husband  and 
home.  Indeed,  happiness — to  him — was  but  the 
unholy  manifestation  of  a  rebellious  spirit,  and  a 
wife's  duty  was  not  to  judge,  but  "to  bear  with  humil- 
ity the  cross  which  a  higher  power  had  for  your  own 
good  laid  upon  you." 

Mrs.  Alving  bore  the  cross  for  twenty-six  long 
years.  Not  for  the  sake  of  the  higher  power,  but  for 
her  little  son  Oswald,  whom  she  longed  to  save  from 
the  poisonous  atmosphere  of  her  husband's  home. 

It  was  also  for  the  sake  of  the  beloved  son  that 

THE   DRAMA  263 

she  supported  the  lie  of  his  father's  goodness,  in  super- 
stitious av/e  of  "duty  and  decency."  She  learned — 
alas,  too  late — that  the  sacrifice  of  her  entire  life  had 
been  in  vain,  and  that  her  son  Oswald  was  visited  by 
the  sins  of  his  father,  that  he  was  irrevocably  doomed. 
This,  too,  she  learned,  that  "we  are  all  of  us  ghosts. 
It  is  not  only  what  we  have  inherited  from  our  father 
and  mother  that  walks  in  us.  It  is  all  sorts  of  dead 
ideas  and  lifeless  old  beliefs.  They  have  no  vitality, 
but  they  cling  to  us  all  the  same  and  we  can't  get  rid 
of  them.  .  .  .  And  then  we  are,  one  and  all,  so  piti- 
fully afraid  of  light.  When  you  forced  me  under  the 
yoke  you  called  Duty  and  Obligation;  when  you 
praised  as  right  and  proper  what  my  whole  soul 
rebelled  against  as  something  loathsome,  it  was  then 
that  I  began  to  look  into  the  seams  of  your  doctrine.  I 
only  wished  to  pick  at  a  single  knot,  but  when  I  had 
got  that  undone,  the  whole  thing  ravelled  out.  And 
then  I  understood  that  it  was  all  machine-sewn." 

How  could  a  society  machine-sewn,  fathom  the 
seething  depths  whence  issued  the  great  masterpiece 
of  Henrik  Ibsen  ?  It  could  not  understand,  and  there- 
fore it  poured  the  vials  of  abuse  and  venom  upon  its 
greatest  benefactor.  That  Ibsen  was  not  daunted  he 
has  proved  by  his  reply  in  An  Enemy  of  the  People. 

In  that  great  drama  Ibsen  performs  the  last  funeral 
rites  over  a  decaying  and  dying  social  system.  Out 
of  its  ashes  rises  the  regenerated  individual,  the  bold 
and  daring  rebel.  Dr.  Stockman,  an  idealist,  full  of 
social  sympathy  and  solidarity,  is  called  to  his  native 
town  as  the  physician  of  the  baths.  He  soon  dis- 
covers that  the  latter  are  built  on  a  swamp,  and  that 


instead  of  finding  relief  the  patients,  who  flock  to  the 
place,  are  being  poisoned. 

An  honest  man,  of  strong  convictions,  the  doctor 
considers  it  his  duty  to  make  his  discovery  known. 
But  he  soon  learns  that  dividends  and  profits  are  con- 
cerned neither  with  health  nor  priniciples.  Even  the 
reformers  of  the  town,  represented  in  the  People's 
Messenger,  always  ready  to  prate  of  their  devotion  to 
the  people,  withdraw  their  support  from  the  "reckless" 
idealist,  the  moment  they  learn  that  the  doctor's  dis- 
covery may  bring  the  town  into  disrepute,  and  thus 
injure  their  pockets. 

But  Doctor  Stockman  continues  in  the  faith  he 
entertains  for  his  townsmen.  They  would  hear  him. 
But  here,  too,  he  soon  finds  himself  alone.  He  cannot 
even  secure  a  place  to  proclaim  his  great  truth.  And 
when  he  finally  succeeds,  he  is  overwhelmed  by  abuse 
and  ridicule  as  the  enemy  of  the  people.  The  doctor, 
so  enthusiastic  of  his  townspeople's  assistance  to  eradi- 
cate the  evil,  is  soon  driven  to  a  solitary  position.  The 
announcement  of  his  discovery  would  result  in  a 
pecuniary  loss  to  the  town,  and  that  consideration 
induces  the  officials,  the  good  citizens,  and  soul  reform- 
ers, to  stifle  the  voice  of  truth.  He  finds  them  all  a 
compact  majority,  unscrupulous  enough  to  be  willing 
to  build  up  the  prosperity  of  the  town  on  a  quagmire 
of  lies  and  fraud.  He  is  accused  of  trying  to  ruin  the 
community.  But  to  his  mind  "it  does  not  matter  if  a 
lying  community  is  ruined.  It  must  be  levelled  to  the 
ground.  All  men  who  live  upon  lies  must  be  exter- 
minated like  vermin.  You'll  bring  it  to  such  a  pass 
that  the  whole  country  will  deserve  to  perish." 

THE   DRAMA  265 

Doctor  Stockman  is  not  a  practical  politician.  A 
free  man,  he  thinks,  must  not  behave  like  a  black- 
guard. "He  must  not  so  act  that  he  would  spit  in  his 
own  face."  For  only  cowards  permit  "considera- 
tions" of  pretended  general  welfare  or  of  party  to 
override  truth  and  ideals.  "Party  programmes  wring 
the  necks  of  all  young,  living  truths;  and  considera- 
tions of  expediency  turn  morality  and  righteousness 
upside  down,  until  life  is  simply  hideous." 

These  plays  of  Ibsen — The  Pillars  of  Society,  A 
Doll's  House,  Ghosts,  and  An  Enemy  of  the  People — 
constitute  a  dynamic  force  which  is  gradually  dissipat- 
ing the  ghosts  walking  the  social  burying  ground 
called  civilization.  Nay,  more;  Ibsen's  destructive 
effects  are  at  the  same  time  supremely  constructive, 
for  he  not  merely  undermines  existing  pillars ;  indeed, 
he  builds  with  sure  strokes  the  foundation  of  a 
healthier,  ideal  future,  based  on  the  sovereignty  of  the 
individual  within  a  sympathetic  social  environment. 

England  with  her  great  pioneers  of  radical  thought, 
the  intellectual  pilgrims  like  Godwin,  Robert  Owen, 
Darwin,  Spencer,  William  Morris,  and  scores  of 
others ;  with  her  wonderful  larks  of  liberty — Shelley, 
Byron,  Keats — is  another  example  of  the  influence 
of  dramatic  art.  Within  comparatively  a  few  years 
the  dramatic  works  of  Shaw,  Pinero,  Galsworthy, 
Rann  Kennedy,  have  carried  radical  thought  to  the 
ears  formerly  deaf  even  to  Great  Britain's  wondrous 
poets.  Thus  a  public  which  will  remain  indifferent 
reading  an  essay  by  Robert  Owen  on  poverty,  or 
ignore  Bernard  Shaw's  Socialistic  tracts,  was  made 
to    think    by    Major    Barbara,    wherein    poverty    is 


described  as  the  greatest  crime  of  Christian  civiliza- 
tion. "Poverty  makes  people  weak,  slavish,  puny; 
poverty  creates  disease,  crime,  prostitution;  in  fine, 
poverty  is  responsible  for  all  the  ills  and  evils  of  the 
world."  Poverty  also  necessitates  dependency,  chari- 
table organizations,  institutions  that  thrive  off  the  very 
thing  they  are  trying  to  destroy.  The  Salvation 
Army,  for  instance,  as  shown  in  Major  Barbara, 
fights  drunkenness ;  yet  one  of  its  greatest  contributors 
is  Badger,  a  whiskey  distiller,  who  furnishes  yearly 
thousands  of  pounds  to  do  away  with  the  very  source 
of  his  wealth.  Bernard  Shaw  therefore  concludes 
that  the  only  real  benefactor  of  society  is  a  man  like 
Undershaft,  Barbara's  father,  a  cannon  manufacturer, 
whose  theory  of  life  is  that  powder  is  stronger  than 

"The  worst  of  crimes,"  says  Undershaft,  "is  pov- 
erty. All  the  other  crimes  are  virtues  beside  it;  all 
the  other  dishonors  are  chivalry  itself  by  comparison. 
Poverty  blights  whole  cities;  spreads  horrible  pesti- 
lences; strikes  dead  the  very  soul  of  all  who  come 
within  sight,  sound,  or  smell  of  it.  What  you  call 
crime  is  nothing;  a  murder  here,  a  theft  there,  a  blow 
now  and  a  curse  there:  what  do  they  matter?  They 
are  only  the  accidents  and  illnesses  of  life;  there  are 
not  fifty  genuine  professional  criminals  in  London. 
But  there  are  millions  of  poor  people,  abject  people, 
dirty  people,  ill-fed,  ill-clothed  people.  They  poison 
us  morally  and  physically;  they  kill  the  happiness  of 
society;  they  force  us  to  do  away  with  our  own  liber- 
ties and  to  organize  unnatural  cruelties  for  fear  they 
should  rise  against  us  and  drag  us  down  into  their 

THE   DRAMA  267 

abyss.  .  .  .  Poverty  and  slavery  have  stood  up  for 
centuries  to  your  sermons  and  leading  articles ;  they 
will  not  stand  up  to  my  machine  guns.  Don't  preach 
at  them ;  don't  reason  with  them.  Kill  them.  .  .  . 
It  is  the  final  test  of  conviction,  the  only  lever  strong 
enough  to  overturn  a  social  system.  .  .  .  Vote !  Bah ! 
When  you  vote,  you  only  change  the  name  of  the 
cabinet.  When  you  shoot,  you  pull  down  govern- 
ments, inaugurate  new  epochs,  abolish  old  orders,  and 
set  up  new." 

No  wonder  people  cared  little  to  read  Mr.  Shaw's 
Socialistic  tracts.  In  no  other  way  but  in  the  drama 
could  he  deliver  such  forcible,  historic  truths.  And 
therefore  it  is  only  through  the  drama  that  Mr.  Shaw 
is  a  revolutionary  factor  in  the  dissemination  of  radi- 
cal ideas. 

After  Hauptmann's  Die  Weber,  Strife,  by  Gals- 
worthy, is  the  most  important  labor  drama. 

The  theme  of  Strife  is  a  strike  with  two  dominant 
factors :  Anthony,  the  president  of  the  company,  rigid, 
uncompromising,  unwilling  to  make  the  slightest  con- 
cession, although  the  men  held  out  for  months  and  are 
in  a  condition  of  semi-starvation ;  and  David  Roberts, 
an  uncompromising  revolutionist,  whose  devotion  to 
the  workingmen  and  the  cause  of  freedom  is  at  white 
heat.  Between  them  the  strikers  are  worn  and  weary 
with  the  terrible  struggle,  and  are  harassed  and 
driven  by  the  awful  sight  of  poverty  and  want  in  their 

The  most  marvelous  and  brilliant  piece  of  work  in 
Strife  is  Galsworthy's  portrayal  of  the  mob  in  its 
fickleness  and  lack  of  backbone.     One  moment  they 


applaud  old  Thomas,  who  speaks  of  the  power  of  God 
and  religion  and  admonishes  the  men  against  rebel- 
lion ;  the  next  instant  they  are  carried  away  by  a  walk- 
ing delegate,  who  pleads  the  cause  of  the  union, — the 
union  that  always  stands  for  compromise,  and  which 
forsakes  the  workingmen  whenever  they  dare  to  strike 
for  independent  demands ;  again  they  are  aglow  with 
the  earnestness,  the  spirit,  and  the  intensity  of  David 
Roberts — all  these  people  willing  to  go  in  whatever 
direction  the  wind  blows.  It  is  the  curse  of  the 
working  class  that  they  always  follow  like  sheep  led 
to  slaughter. 

Consistency  is  the  greatest  crime  of  our  commer- 
cial age.  No  matter  how  intense  the  spirit  or  how 
important  the  man,  the  moment  he  will  not  allow  him- 
self to  be  used  or  sell  his  principles,  he  is  thrown  on 
the  dustheap.  Such  was  the  fate  of  the  president  of 
the  company,  Anthony,  and  of  David  Roberts.  To  be 
sure  they  represented  opposite  poles — poles  antago- 
nistic to  each  other,  poles  divided  by  a  terrible  gap  that 
can  never  be  bridged  over.  Yet  they  shared  a  com- 
mon fate.  Anthony  is  the  embodiment  of  conserva- 
tism, of  old  ideas,  of  iron  methods : 

"I  have  been  chairman  of  this  company  thirty-two 
years.  I  have  fought  the  men  four  times.  I  have 
never  been  defeated.  It  has  been  said  that  times  have 
changed.  If  they  have,  I  have  not  changed  with  them. 
It  has  been  said  that  masters  and  men  are  equal. 
Cant.  There  can  be  only  one  master  in  a  house.  It 
has  been  said  that  Capital  and  Labor  have  the  same 
interests.  Cant.  Their  interests  are  as  wide  asunder 
as  the  poles.    There  is  only  one  way  of  treating  men — 

THE   DRAMA  269 

with  the  iron  rod.  Masters  are  masters.  Men  are 

We  may  not  like  this  adherence  to  old,  reactionary- 
notions,  and  yet  there  is  something  admirable  in  the 
courage  and  consistency  of  this  man,  nor  is  he  half 
as  dangerous  to  the  interests  of  the  oppressed,  as  our 
sentimental  and  soft  reformers  who  rob  with  nine 
fingers,  and  give  libraries  with  the  tenth;  who  grind 
human  beings  like  Russell  Sage,  and  then  spend  mil- 
lions of  dollars  in  social  research  work;  who  turn 
beautiful  young  plants  into  faded  old  women,  and 
then  give  them  a  few  paltry  dollars  or  found  a  Home 
for  Working  Girls.  Anthony  is  a  worthy  foe ;  and  to 
fight  such  a  foe,  one  must  learn  to  meet  him  in  open 

David  Roberts  has  all  the  mental  and  moral  attri- 
butes of  his  adversary,  coupled  with  the  spirit  of 
revolt  and  the  depth  of  modern  ideas.  He,  too,  is 
consistent,  and  wants  nothing  for  his  class  short  of 
complete  victory. 

"It  is  not  for  this  little  moment  of  time  we  are 
fighting,  not  for  our  own  little  bodies  and  their 
warmth:  it  is  for  all  those  who  come  after,  for  all 
times.  Oh,  men,  for  the  love  of  them  don't  turn  up 
another  stone  on  their  heads,  don't  help  to  blacken  the 
sky.  If  we  can  shake  that  white-faced  monster  with 
the  bloody  lips  that  has  sucked  the  lives  out  of  our- 
selves, our  wives,  and  children,  since  the  world  began, 
if  we  have  not  the  hearts  of  men  to  stand  against  it, 
breast  to  breast  and  eye  to  eye,  and  force  it  backward 
till  it  cry  for  mercy,  it  will  go  on  sucking  life,  and  we 


shall  stay  forever  where  we  are,  less  than  the  very 

It  is  inevitable  that  compromise  and  petty  interest 
should  pass  on  and  leave  two  such  giants  behind. 
Inevitable,  until  the  mass  will  reach  the  stature  of  a 
David  Roberts.  Will  it  ever?  Prophecy  is  not  the 
vocation  of  the  dramatist,  yet  the  moral  lesson  is  evi- 
dent. One  cannot  help  realizing  that  the  workingmen 
will  have  to  use  methods  hitherto  unfamiliar  to  them ; 
that  they  will  have  to  discard  all  those  elements  in 
their  midst  that  are  forever  ready  to  reconcile  the 
irreconcilable,  namely  Capital  and  Labor.  They  will 
have  to  learn  that  characters  like  David  Roberts  are 
the  very  forces  that  have  revolutionized  the  world 
and  thus  paved  the  way  for  emancipation  out  of 
the  clutches  of  that  "white-faced  monster  with  bloody 
lips,"  towards  a  brighter  horizon,  a  freer  life,  and  a 
deeper  recognition  of  human  values. 

No  subject  of  equal  social  import  has  received  such 
extensive  consideration  within  the  last  few  years  as 
the  question  of  prison  and  punishment. 

Hardly  any  magazine  of  consequence  that  has  not 
devoted  its  columns  to  the  discussion  of  this  vital 
theme.  A  number  of  books  by  able  writers,  both  in 
America  and  abroad,  have  discussed  this  topic  from 
the  historic,  psychologic,  and  social  standpoint,  all 
agreeing  that  present  penal  institutions  and  our  mode 
of  coping  with  crime  have  in  every  respect  proved 
inadequate  as  well  as  wasteful.  One  would  expect 
that  something  very  radical  should  result  from  the 
cumulative  literary  indictment  of  the  social  crimes 
perpetrated  upon  the  prisoner.     Yet  with  the  excep- 


tion  of  a  few  minor  and  comparatively  insignificant 
reforms  iij  some  of  our  prisons,  absolutely  nothing  has 
been  accomplished.  But  at  last  this  grave  social 
wrong  has  found  dramatic  interpretation  in  Gals- 
worthy's Justice. 

The  play  opens  in  the  office  of  James  How  and 
Sons,  Solicitors.  The  senior  clerk,  Robert  Cokeson, 
discovers  that  a  check  he  had  issued  for  nine  pounds 
has  been  forged  to  ninety.  By  elimination,  suspicion 
falls  upon  William  Falder,  the  junior  office  clerk. 
The  latter  is  in  love  with  a  married  woman,  the 
abused,  ill-treated  wife  of  a  brutal  drunkard.  Pressed 
by  his  employer,  a  severe  yet  not  unkindly  man, 
Falder  confesses  the  forgery,  pleading  the  dire  neces- 
sity of  his  sweetheart,  Ruth  Honeywill,  with  whom  he 
had  planned  to  escape  to  save  her  from  the  unbearable 
brutality  of  her  husband.  Notwithstanding  the 
entreaties  of  young  Walter,  who  is  touched  by  modern 
ideas,  his  father,  a  moral  and  law-respecting  citizen, 
turns  Falder  over  to  the  police. 

The  second  act,  in  the  court-room,  shows  Justice 
in  the  very  process  of  manufacture.  The  scene  equals 
in  dramatic  power  and  psychologic  verity  the  great 
court  scene  in  Resurrection.  Young  Falder,  a  nervous 
and  rather  weakly  youth  of  twenty-three,  stands 
before  the  bar.  Ruth,  his  married  sweetheart,  full  of 
love  and  devotion,  burns  with  anxiety  to  save  the 
youth  whose  affection  brought  about  his  present 
predicament.  The  young  man  is  defended  by  Lawyer 
Frome,  whose  speech  to  the  jury  is  a  masterpiece 
of  deep  social  philosophy  wreathed  with  the  tendrils 
of  human  understanding  and  sympathy.    He  does  not 


attempt  to  dispute  the  mere  fact  of  Falder  having 
altered  the  check;  and  though  he  pleads  temporary 
aberration  in  defense  of  his  client,  that  plea  is  based 
upon  a  social  consciousness  as  deep  and  all-embracing 
as  the  roots  of  our  social  ills — "the  background  of  life, 
that  palpitating  life  which  always  lies  behind  the  com- 
mission of  a  crime."  He  shows  Falder  to  have  faced 
the  alternative  of  seeing  the  beloved  woman  murdered 
by  her  brutal  husband,  whom  she  cannot  divorce;  or 
of  taking  the  law  into  his  own  hands.  The  defence 
pleads  with  the  jury  not  to  turn  the  weak  young 
man  into  a  criminal  by  condemning  him  to  prison, 
for  "justice  is  a  machine  that,  when  someone  has 
given  it  a  starting  push,  rolls  on  of  itself.  ...  Is  this 
young  man  to  be  ground  to  pieces  under  this  machine 
for  an  act  which,  at  the  worst,  was  one  of  weakness? 
Is  he  to  become  a  member  of  the  luckless  crews  that 
man  those  dark,  ill-starred  ships  called  prisons?  .  .  . 
I  urge  you,  gentlemen,  do  not  ruin  this  young  man. 
For  as  a  result  of  those  four  minutes,  ruin,  utter  and 
irretrievable,  stares  him  in  the  face.  .  .  .  The  rolling 
of  the  chariot  wheels  of  Justice  over  this  boy  began 
when  it  was  decided  to  prosecute  him." 

But  the  chariot  of  Justice  rolls  mercilessly  on, 
for — as  the  learned  Judge  says — "the  law  is  what  it 
is — a  majestic  edifice,  sheltering  all  of  us,  each  stone 
of  which  rests  on  another." 

Falder  is  sentenced  to  three  years'  penal  servitude. 

In  prison,  the  young,  inexperienced  convict  soon 
finds  himself  the  victim  of  the  terrible  "system."  The 
authorities  admit  that  young  Falder  is  mentally  and 
physically  "in  bad  shape,"  but  nothing  can  be  done  in 

THE    DRAMA  2/3 

the  matter :  many  others  are  in  a  similar  position,  and 
"the  quarters  are  inadequate." 

The  third  scene  of  the  third  act  is  heart-gripping 
in  its  silent  force.  The  whole  scene  is  a  pantomime, 
taking  place  in  Falder's  prison  cell. 

"In  fast-falling  daylight,  Falder,  in  his  stockings, 
is  seen  standing  motionless,  with  his  head  inclined 
towards  the  door,  listening.  He  moves  a  little  closer 
to  the  door,  his  stockinged  feet  making  no  noise.  He 
stops  at  the  door.  He  is  trying  harder  and  harder  to 
hear  something,  any  little  thing  that  is  going  on  out- 
side. He  springs  suddenly  upright — as  if  at  a  sound 
— and  remains  perfectly  motionless.  Then,  with  a 
heavy  sigh,  he  moves  to  his  work,  and  stands  looking 
at  it,  with  his  head  down;  he  does  a  stitch  or  two, 
having  the  air  of  a  man  so  lost  in  sadness  that  each 
stitch  is,  as  it  were,  a  coming  to  life.  Then,  turning 
abruptly,  he  begins  pacing  his  cell,  moving  his  head, 
like  an  animal  pacing  its  cage.  He  stops  again  at  the 
door,  listens,  and,  placing  the  palms  of  his  hands 
against  it  with  his  fingers  spread  out,  leans  his  fore- 
head against  the  iron.  Turning  from  it,  presently,  he 
moves  slowly  back  towards  the  window,  holding  his 
head,  as  if  he  felt  that  it  were  going  to  burst,  and 
stops  under  the  window.  But  since  he  cannot  see  out 
of  it  he  leaves  off  looking,  and,  picking  up  the  lid  of 
one  of  the  tins,  peers  into  it,  as  if  trying  to  make  a 
companion  of  his  own  face.  It  has  grown  very  nearly 
dark.  Suddenly  the  lid  falls  out  of  his  hand  with 
a  clatter — the  only  sound  that  has  broken  the  silence 
— and  he  stands  staring  intently  at  the  wall  where 
the  stuff  of  the  shirt  is  hanging  rather  white  in  the 


darkness — he  seems  to  be  seeing  somebody  or  some- 
thing there.  There  is  a  sharp  tap  and  dick;  the  cell 
light  behind  the  glass  screen  has  been  turned  up. 
The  cell  is  brightly  lighted.  Falder  is  seen  gasping 
for  breath. 

"A  sound  from  far  away,  as  of  distant,  dull  beating 
on  thick  metal,  is  suddenly  audible.  Falder  shrinks 
back,  not  able  to  bear  this  sudden  clamor.  But  the 
sound  grows,  as  though  some  great  tumbril  were  roll- 
ing towards  the  cell.  And  gradually  it  seems  to 
hypnotize  him.  He  begins  creeping  inch  by  inch 
nearer  to  the  door.  The  banging  sound,  traveling 
from  cell  to  cell,  draws  closer  and  closer;  Falder's 
hands  are  seen  moving  as  if  his  spirit  had  already 
joined  in  this  beating,  and  the  sound  swells  till  it 
seems  to  have  entered  the  very  cell.  He  suddenly 
raises  his  clenched  fists.  Panting  violently,  he  flings 
himself  at  his  door,  and  beats  on  it." 

Finally  Falder  leaves  the  prison,  a  broken  ticket- 
of-leave  man,  the  stamp  of  the  convict  upon  his  brow, 
the  iron  of  misery  in  his  soul.  Thanks  to  Ruth's 
pleading,  the  firm  of  James  How  and  Son  is  willing 
to  take  Falder  back  in  their  employ,  on  condition 
that  he  give  up  Ruth.  It  is  then  that  Falder  learns 
the  awful  news  that  the  woman  he  loves  had  been 
driven  by  the  merciless  economic  Moloch  to  sell  her- 
self. She  "tried  making  skirts  .  .  .  cheap  things. 
.  .  .  I  never  made  more  than  ten  shillings  a  week, 
buying  my  own  cotton,  and  working  all  day.  I  hardly 
ever  got  to  bed  till  past  twelve.  .  .  .  And  then 
.  .  .  my  employer  happened — he's  happened  ever 
since."      At    this    terrible    psychologic    moment    the 

THE    DRAMA  2/5 

police  appear  to  drag  him  back  to  prison  for  failing 
to  report  himself  as  ticket-of-leave  man.  Completely 
overcome  by  the  inexorability  of  his  environment, 
young  Falder  seeks  and  finds  peace,  greater  than 
human  justice,  by  throwing  himself  down  to  death,  as 
the  detectives  are  taking  him  back  to  prison. 

It  would  be  impossible  to  estimate  the  effect  pro- 
duced by  this  play.  Perhaps  some  conception  can 
be  gained  from  the  very  unusual  circumstance  that 
it  had  proved  so  powerful  as  to  induce  the  Home  Sec- 
retary of  Great  Britain  to  undertake  extensive  prison 
reforms  in  England.  A  very  encouraging  sign  this, 
of  the  influence  exerted  by  the  modern  drama.  It  is 
to  be  hoped  that  the  thundering  indictment  of  Mr. 
Galsworthy  will  not  remain  without  similar  effect  upon 
the  public  sentiment  and  prison  conditions  of  America. 
At  any  rate  it  is  certain  that  no  other  modern  play 
has  borne  such  direct  and  immediate  fruit  in  wakening 
the  social  conscience. 

Another  modern  play.  The  Servant  in  the  House, 
strikes  a  vital  key  in  our  social  life.  The  hero  of 
Mr.  Kennedy's  masterpiece  is  Robert,  a  coarse,  filthy 
drunkard,  whom  respectable  society  has  repudiated. 
Robert,  the  sewer  cleaner,  is  the  real  hero  of  the  play; 
nay,  its  true  and  only  savior.  It  is  he  who  volunteers 
to  go  down  into  the  dangerous  sewer,  so  that  his 
comrades  "can  'ave  light  and  air."  After  all,  has  he 
not  sacrificed  his  life  always,  so  that  others  may  have 
light  and  air? 

The  thought  that  labor  is  the  redeemer  of  social 
well-being  has  been  cried  from  the  housetops  in  every 
tongue  and  every  clime.     Yet  the  simple  words  of 


Robert  express  the  significance  of  labor  and  its  mis- 
sion with  far  greater  potency. 

America  is  still  in  its  dramatic  infancy.  Most  of 
the  attempts  along  this  line  to  mirror  life,  have  been 
wretched  failures.  Still,  there  are  hopeful  signs  in 
the  attitude  of  the  intelligent  public  toward  modern 
plays,  even  if  they  be  from  foreign  soil. 

The  only  real  drama  America  has  so  far  produced 
is  The  Easiest  Way,  by  Eugene  Walter. 

It  is  supposed  to  represent  a  "peculiar  phase"  of 
New  York  life.  If  that  were  all,  it  would  be  of  minor 
significance.  That  which  gives  the  play  its  real  impor- 
tance and  value  lies  much  deeper.  It  lies,  first,  in 
the  fundamental  current  of  our  social  fabric  which 
drives  us  all,  even  stronger  characters  than  Laura,  into 
the  easiest  way — a  way  so  very  destructive  of  integ- 
rity, truth,  and  justice.  Secondly,  the  cruel,  senseless 
fatalism  conditioned  in  Laura's  sex.  These  two  fea- 
tures put  the  universal  stamp  upon  the  play,  and  char- 
acterize it  as  one  of  the  strongest  dramatic  indictments 
against  society. 

The  criminal  waste  of  human  energy,  in  economic 
and  social  conditions,  drives  Laura  as  it  drives  the 
average  girl  to  marry  any  man  for  a  "home";  or  as 
it  drives  men  to  endure  the  worst  indignities  for  a 
miserable  pittance. 

Then  there  is  that  other  respectable  institution,  the 
fatalism  of  Laura's  sex.  The  inevitability  of  that  force 
is  summed  up  in  the  following  words:  "Don't  you 
know  that  we  count  no  more  in  the  life  of  these  men 
than  tamed  animals?  It's  a  game,  and  if  we  don't 
play    our    cards    well,    we    lose."      Woman    in    the 

THE    DRAMA  2,'jy 

battle  with  life  has  but  one  weapon,  one  commodity — 
sex.  That  alone  serves  as  a  trump  card  in  the  game 
of  life. 

This  blind  fatalism  has  made  of  woman  a  parasite, 
an  inert  thing.  Why  then  expect  perseverance  or 
energy  of  Laura?  The  easiest  way  is  the  path  mapped 
out  for  her  from  time  immemorial.  She  could  follow 
no  other. 

A  number  of  other  plays  could  be  quoted  as  char- 
acteristic of  the  growing  role  of  the  drama  as  a  dis- 
seminator of  radical  thought.  Suffice  it  to  mention 
The  Third  Degree,  by  Charles  Klein;  The  Fourth 
Estate,  by  Medill  Patterson;  A  Man's  World,  by  Ida 
Croutchers, — all  pointing  to  the  dawn  of  dramatic  art 
in  America,  an  art  which  is  discovering  to  the  people 
the  terrible  diseases  of  our  social  body. 

It  has  been  said  of  old,  all  roads  lead  to  Rome.  In 
paraphrased  application  to  the  tendencies  of  our  day, 
it  may  truly  be  said  that  all  roads  lead  to  the  great 
social  reconstruction.  The  economic  awakening  of  the 
workingman,  and  his  realization  of  the  necessity  for 
concerted  industrial  action ;  the  tendencies  of  modern 
education,  especially  in  their  application  to  the  free 
development  of  the  child;  the  spirit  of  growing  unrest 
expressed  through,  and  cultivated  by,  art  and  litera- 
ture, all  pave  the  way  to  the  Open  Road.  Above  all, 
the  modern  drama,  operating  through  the  double  chan- 
nel of  dramatist  and  interpreter,  affecting  as  it  d6es 
both  mind  and  heart,  is  the  strongest  force  in  develop- 
ing social  discontent,  swelling  the  powerful  tide  of 
unrest  that  sweeps  onward  and  over  the  dam  of  igno- 
rance, prejudice,  and  superstition. 




Jl    Zlnique    ConhihuHon    to 
Socio-'Psychohgical    "Liierafure 


I)     The  Revolutionary  Awakening  and  its  Toll^ 
The  Attentat 

II)      The  Allegheny  Penitentiary :    Fourteen  Yeari 
in  Purgatory 

III)     The  Resurrection  and  After 

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